Fellow Wisconsinites:

I’ve been an educator all my adult life.

I grew up in small town Plymouth, WI. I worked at a canning factory in high school, put myself through college, and married my kindergarten sweetheart, Kathy – also a teacher.

I’ve been an educator all across Wisconsin,and no matter where I worked, I put kids first. Always. I became a principal in Tomah, was an administrator in Oakfield and Verona, before being elected as your State Superintendent.

I have always tried to find common ground, while holding firm to the values we share.

I am running for re-election as State Superintendent of Public Instruction, because I believe that Wisconsin children deserve a world class education system. A system that is fair and balanced to every child from Antigo to Superior, and Viroqua to Milwaukee. I will continue to stand up for our children, and do what is right for the future of our State no matter their financial circumstance. I will vigorously defend our public schools, so we never pit the haves against the have nots.

Every child in Wisconsin should be a graduate, college and career ready, but I know it requires more to get kids across the finish line. We need teachers who are both inspired and empowered to teach every kid. We need to offer mental health services in our schools and find a way to close achievement gaps. Education is the driving engine of our economy. Education gives kids a ladder of opportunity, and every child, not just some, deserve the resources Wisconsin should invest in them.

This spring, I’m asking for your support to continue as Wisconsin’s State Superintendent.

Please make sure you vote in the April 4th general election.


State superintendent candidates Evers and Holtz square off

“In order to pass Act 10, it was necessary to have divisive rhetoric around teachers and public servants,” Evers said. “I think as a result we’re losing a generation of teachers.”

“We’re losing them from the profession because they’re frustrated … They’re doing things that are absolutely not related to their classroom,” Holtz said. “We need to give them a rich environment where it's rewarding to be a teacher.”

Evers agreed that there was need to “lighten the load” on teachers, but pointed out that he doesn’t have control over all the burdens placed on teachers: some laws and standards are enacted by the Legislature.

Holtz said that, overall, Act 10 was a good thing for Wisconsin. As a superintendent pre-Act 10, he had to lay off employees every year. After Act 10, he didn’t have to lay off anyone, he said.

“Did it save money? Absolutely. By taking money out of teacher’s pockets,” Evers said.

Read more.

Borsuk: Trump's budget abandons two bipartisan education efforts

One of the dividing lines between the candidates in the April 4 election for state superintendent of public instruction can be seen in reactions to the proposals.

Tony Evers, finishing his second term as state superintendent, was unhappy. He said he has visited many of the after-school centers and they do “great work.” He also said that cutting professional development funds would harm statewide efforts to improve teaching. "I think this is going to mean a downhill spiral for a lot of things” involving teaching quality if it happens, he said.

Evers also was critical of cutting off Americorps-supported programs that help low-income students get on track to go to college.

“Talk about being short-sighted,” he said. “That’s the exact group of kids we want to encourage.”

His opponent, Lowell Holtz, was generally favorable to the Trump plans. 

Read more.

Evers in Rhinelander

RHINELANDER, WI (WSAU-WXPR) -- State Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Tony Evers campaigned in Rhinelander Friday. Evers is seeking a third term as the state's school leader and is challenged Whitnall Administrator Lowell Holtz.

Evers says a teacher shortage arose out of the demonization of public employees resulting from the ACT 10 public bargaining changes and will have long time negative results in rural Wisconsin. He says at a recent teacher recruitment day at UW-Stevens Point, only 5 seniors came forward asking about teaching as a profession when in past years it was more than 40.

He said, "And that concerns me for the Northwoods point of view. UW-Madison did a study looking at all the potential teachers and where they want to live and work and be solid members of the community. And less than 5% wanted to work in rural Wisconsin."

Read more.

Tony Evers seeks a third term after battles with conservatives, cancer and Common Core

It’s been 20 years since state superintendent Tony Evers first ran to oversee the state’s public school system.

Eight since he won over enough voters to get the job. Seven years since Republicans took control of the rest of state government. Six since public school teachers stormed the state Capitol ahead of virtually losing their ability to bargain, and private-school vouchers became available outside Milwaukee. And five years since a doctor told Evers he was cured of a cancer that kills most people who get it.

Evers, 65, has held his post as head of the Department of Public Instruction during eight years of significant transition in the state’s education landscape, which began while he was still recovering from esophageal cancer.

Evers began his career as a teacher and principal in Tomah, then became superintendent in tiny Oakfield and oversaw a population boom in rural Verona in the mid-1990s before moving into regional and state school administration.

Read more.

Tony Evers campaigns in Rhinelander

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers made a stop in Rhinelander on Friday to campaign for a third four-year term in office.

Evers, who is being challenged in the April 4 spring general election by retired Whitnall School District administrator Lowell Holtz, met with supporters at the Rhinelander Café and Pub before heading over to WXPR to be interviewed.

“Certainly I think I’m more prepared (to be the state school superintendent),” Evers said. “I’ve had the job for two terms, and we’ve made some good progress in those two terms.

“My opponent had some weird stuff happening at the end of the primary…. That in itself is really stupid, but the thing that concerns me most is that they’re talking seriously about breaking up the five largest schools districts in the state, getting rid of the school boards, all sorts of things that frankly shouldn’t be dealt with on a back of a bar napkin."

Read more.

Evers touts public schools

Evers, who is seeking a third term, faces re-election April 4 against Lowell Holtz. While the race is officially nonpartisan, Evers enjoys support from a Democratic base, including teacher unions and public-school advocates. Holtz, meanwhile, has been more vocal of his support for voucher schools. 

Evers told several stories of public school students around the state finding success — a student in West Salem who turned a "hunk of junk" into a truck; students in Juneau creating a robot wrestling match; a Milwaukee Public Schools student originally from Mexico who got a $90,000 college scholarship to pursue a career in biology. 

The public doesn't hear those kinds of stories enough, Evers said, adding he believes it's his job to tell them. 

Read more.

Tony Evers, Lowell Holtz debate effect of Act 10 on state teacher supply

MILWAUKEE — Candidates to oversee the state’s public schools on Monday disagreed on whether Act 10 was good for teachers and schools and whether to spend more money on taxpayer-funded vouchers for private schools.

It was the first public forum between state Superintendent Tony Evers and his challenger, Lowell Holtz, a former district superintendent. The meeting came in the wake of two weeks of accusations of lying, election bribery and using public resources to plot campaign strategy leading up to and following the Feb. 21 primary. The general election is April 4.

Read more.

State candidate sent campaign email from schools account

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - State superintendent candidate Lowell Holtz sent a campaign-focused email detailing his support among Republicans using his Whitnall Public School email address during a school day.

The email sent in May appears to be in violation of the state law prohibiting the use of government resources for campaign work.

Read more.

State superintendent race pits choice advocate, public school defender

The state superintendent race pits two former school district superintendents and longtime educators against each other — a proponent of expanding school choices and an opponent of the state expansion of taxpayer-funded school vouchers.

On the April 4 ballot will be two-term incumbent Tony Evers, a public school advocate backed mostly by liberals and teachers unions who has been at odds with Republicans for years over his adoption of the Common Core State Standards and his opposition to the expansion of private school vouchers in the state.

He took about seven of every 10 votes in the primary.

His challenger, Lowell Holtz, is backed mostly by conservatives and school voucher supporters. He is making his second run for the position and opposes the Common Core State Standards and favors expansion of educational options — including taxpayer-funded vouchers — other than public schools.

Read more.