FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 13, 2022
RACINE—Today, Will Martin called for dismantling and replacing the Department of Public Instruction in the wake of a disturbing teacher training session and DPI leadership’s refusal to condemn the content.
“I am calling for dismantling DPI and replacing it with a more accountable Department of Education reporting directly to the Governor.” – Will Martin
In a virtual teacher training session DPI hosted as part of a “leadership” series, a featured speaker stated, “I think I can tell you what critical race theory is, and I can tell you for sure it is not the most radical thing to come out. I’m like, wait ‘til you hear what we really think, what we really believe in.” As the speaker makes these comments, a DPI official can be seen onscreen laughing along with the speaker.
When confronted by a state senator regarding the training session and its content, DPI Superintendent Jill Underly responded that “[t]he subject matter…is consistent with DPI’s mission….”
“Rather than condemning and clarifying radical and divisive agendas have no place in Wisconsin teacher trainings or classrooms, the state’s top education administrator decided to double down and, once again, current Governor and former DPI Superintendent Tony Evers has said nothing on behalf of students, families, and teachers,” stated Will Martin.
Martin continued, “Clearly, DPI leadership has lost its way like the Evers Administration. Critical race theory will do nothing to help our children become proficient in reading, math, science, and other important subjects. Every minute and taxpayer dollar spent on CRT and other radical and destructive content represents a theft from our students and realizing their full potential. That is why I am calling for dismantling DPI and replacing it with a more accountable Department of Education reporting directly to the Governor. We need a new administration that will ensure our children are educated, not indoctrinated.”
The Wisconsin State Constitution would have to be amended to eliminate the DPI Superintendent position. In addition to calling for reforming the supervision of K-12 education, Martin is calling on the Wisconsin Legislature to adopt a joint resolution beginning the process.
The state constitution gives the Legislature the authority to determine the powers of the DPI Superintendent and establish such other officers that may be involved in supervising education. The state government approved $14 billion in funding for K-12 education during the current biennium.
Will Martin is the only Lt. Governor candidate to have worked for Governors Tommy Thompson and Scott Walker across multiple departments, implementing reforms and other initiatives, and owning a small business for 20 years. Read more about Will Martin’s background here.