State superintendent candidates discuss mental health, other education issues at forum – Daily Cardinal

State superintendent candidates Deborah Kerr and Jill Underly met for a conversation centered around questions from Wisconsin students Wednesday. 

The forum was hosted by BadgersVote, a campus-wide initiative working to make voting more accessible to UW-Madison students.

Although the state superintendent position is nonpartisan, the race has brought in millions in campaign donations and the candidates are endorsed by partisan figures. 

Kerr, the former Brown Deer School District Superintendent, is supported by former Gov. Scott Walker. Underly, a consultant and assistant manager at the Department of Public Instruction and Pecatonica School Superintendent, is supported by the state’s teachers union (WEAC), the Wisconsin Democratic Party and Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin.

At the forum, the candidates answered questions regarding health and safety, mental health, the Foundations of Reading Test — which is meant to test teachers’ abilities to teach reading — taxpayer dollars used for private schools, distribution of funds to public schools, the safety of Native American students and their reactions to the recent attacks on Asian American lives.

The conversation began with opening statements from each candidate. Kerr began her remarks,