Evers says institutional racism exists in state

Evers says institutional racism exists in state
State Superintendent Tony Evers To Visit Sun Prairie High School

State Superintendent Tony Evers says he believes institutional racism is an issue with the state’s schools.

Evers made the comment Thursday when asked during a briefing before the Legislature’s budget-writing committee about how the achievement gap between white students and students of color could be narrowed.

Evers says the state has “difficulty around race issues.” Evers, who is white, says many people who work in the schools “look like me” and were raised in small towns with little interaction with non-white people.

Evers says, “that doesn’t get you to a place where you’re culturally competent. That’s a huge issue. That’s not something that can be changed with a magic wand.”

He says tackling institutional racism “will mean some hard conversations.”

Evers was asked about it by state Sen. Lena Taylor, who is African American.

Evers takes questions ahead of election

Evers is taking questions from state lawmakers who appear in a radio ad supporting his opponent for re-election Lowell Holtz.

Evers testified Thursday before the Legislature’s budget-writing Joint Finance Committee. Two Republicans on the panel appear in a radio ad released this week in support of Holtz. They are Sen. Alberta Darling and Sen. Leah Vukmir.

The election for state superintendent is Tuesday. The race is officially nonpartisan but Evers is generally backed by Democrats while Holtz has support from Republicans, including Darling and Vukmir.

Evers is urging the Legislature to support Gov. Scott Walker’s budget that would direct $649 million in additional funding to K-12 schools.

Evers says Act 10 compliance arbitrary

Evers says he thinks only one or two districts in the state are not requiring employees to contribute at least 12 percent toward costs of their health care.

Evers told the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee on Thursday that he’s worried a requirement in Walker’s budget proposal could be wrongly interpreted to apply to about 20 districts.

Walker wants to make more than $500 million in new state aid available only to schools that are compliant with the Act 10 law that set the 12 percent health insurance contribution requirement.