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Meet Jill Underly, Candidate for Wisconsin Schools Superintendent

Jill Underly Campaign

On Tuesday Wisconsin voters will take to the polls to decide Wisconsin’s next top education official.

Two candidates are vying for the position – former Brown Deer Superintendent Deb Kerr and Pecatonica Superintendent Jill Underly.

Underly makes the case she’s the best fit for the job.

Jill Underly has been a high school teacher, university advisor, elementary and middle school principal, and now she’s a superintendent in Southern Wisconsin.

She said she wants to bring those experiences to the state to advocate for Wisconsin’s kids.

“I’m running for the kids of Wisconsin,” she said. “I’ve dedicated my life to serving kids.”

If elected, Underly said she’ll have two main priorities: getting all schools open for in-person learning and expanding early childhood programming.

“I’m looking at full day 4k, which would also meet every day, so full-day, full-week 4k, wraparound care for the afternoons for elementary kids, summer programming, especially for elementary kids, and then ensuring that we have strong childcare,” she said.

Underly said she would advocate with the governor’s office and state legislature to use money from the American Rescue Plan to expand broadband.

And she said it’s time to address the current school funding formula.

“It’s clearly not working for the majority of our school districts,” she said. “We need to go back to the promise where the state provided two-thirds funding and local taxpayers provided the other third. We need to go back to that. We also need to address declining enrollment…We need to look at those options to help school districts bolster their budgets so they don’t go to referendum.”

If elected state superintendent, Underly said she would strive to serve schools across the state, including in rural Wisconsin.

“As state superintendent, I would prioritize rural school districts and making sure I’m visible in all corners of the state and visiting our schools.”

An interview with former Brown Deer Superintendent Deb Kerr was posted earlier this week.

Erin Gottsacker worked at WXPR as a Morning Edition host and reporter from December 2020 to January 2023. During her time at the station, Erin reported on the issues that matter most in the Northwoods.
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