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Dean Underwood to join state senators at forum examining future of public schools

September 03, 2013

UW-Madison School of Education Dean Julie Underwood is joining state representatives and public education leaders on Thursday, Sept. 5, for a discussion about the future of public schools in Wisconsin.

Julie UnderwoodThe 90-minute forum, which is free and open to the public, will be held at the Middleton Performing Arts Center, 2100 Bristol St., and begins at 7 p.m.

The event is titled, “How Many Kids Left Behind? -- An Interactive Community Conversation on the Future of Our Public Schools.” In addition to Underwood, other confirmed participants include: Wisconsin State Senators Kathleen Vinehout, D-Alma, and Dale Schultz, R-Richland Center; Department of Public Instruction policy adviser and federal funds trustee, Jeff Pertl; and Wisconsin Association of School Board government relations specialist Joe Quick.

Quick will act as the moderator for the program and Pertl will introduce each of the three topics to be discussed:

• The state of Wisconsin’s education budget (growth of poverty maps, needs of our children, and need for adequate funding).

• The second “shadow” school system (vouchers, various charters, private school reimbursement, etc.) and its financial impact.

• Needs of rural districts and the challenges to these districts and communities.

There will be a five-minute presentation on each topic. The other panelists will then respond with additional ideas and reactions, followed by questions from the audience. Each segment will last about 25 minutes.

This forum is an effort to examine what some view as ongoing and growing efforts to undermine Wisconsin’s highly regarded public school system.

This program is being sponsored by Team Gold, a west side Madison neighborhood team, and the Middleton Action Team.

For more information and updates, check out the event’s Facebook page.

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