Pictured from left to right: Michael Luckey, Caroline Krause, Jason Mugnaini, Representative Gary Tauchen, Senator Tom Tiffany, and Representative David Steffen
Wednesday night, Pulaski High school held a legislative public forum, as an opportunity for school administrators and the public to discuss major issues that will impact public education in Wisconsin.
The invitation was extended to the 13 school districts that share legislators with Pulaski and seven were represented last night, including Shawano, Bonduel, Shiocton, Gillett, among others. Pulaski Superintendent Bec Kurzynske says the forum was a chance for educators and representatives to come together and have an opportunity to have a discussion together.
“It’s nice to have them all together to have a common conversation and to share ideas among school districts,” said Kurzynske. “I’m very pleased with the turnout [Wednesday] evening. There were roughly 50 people and I do feel it was a success in that we had an opportunity to have some quality conversation, exchange some ideas, and plant the seeds for other conversations in the future.”
Legislators on-hand included Representatives Gary Tauchen, David Steffen, and Tom Tiffany, as well as staff members representing Robert Cowles, John Nygren, and Jim Steineke. The conversation touched on several topics regarding education, such as, local control, food service, and other concerns like choice schools.
The forum provided a platform for much give and take and was aimed at not only raising concerns within education, but providing solutions, or at least having a healthy dialogue along the way.
“Not just problems, but we like solutions, we need options,” explained State Representative Gary Tauchen. “We need to evaluate things, get as much information as we can as Legislators to make the best decisions possible on whatever issue. In this case it was education, but there are so many other issues that the state is dealing with.”
Tauchen said it was perfect timing to hold a forum like the one held Wednesday night, since the State Assembly will be looking at the budget beginning on Jan. 4. Overall, he believes there was valuable information shared at the forum regarding education, however, when it comes to state finances, a balance must be struck.
“Education is our number one priority, it always has been,” said Tauchen regarding the State Assembly. “We look at it from a different perspective. We try to gather as much information as we can from all of the stakeholders, but this is part of what we do. We have to make sure we’re doing the best possible job we can for the people we represent, the citizens of Wisconsin.”
With the discussion started, it now has an opportunity to grow, as everyone believes sharing ideas and concerns in a clear manner are the best ways to finding solutions. Still, there is no denying that challenges remain ahead for public education in Wisconsin.