“We had Act 10 which happened in 2011 which really gave a lot of the power back to superintendents and schools board for running their schools. And from what I hear from superintendents all over my district and the state is that they are very thankful for that power. And I think, as I’ve said, if you’re a good superintendent and you use that wisely you’ll be in good shape. Because a lot of times they use the teacher’s contract as a crutch or excuse for not making any changes in their district. Now they have no excuse.”
In my newest interview on the state of American education, I talk with Sen. Luther Olsen, state senator for Wisconsin’s 14th District, chair of the state’s education committee, and member of Conservative Leaders for Education. Sen. Olsen explains how Wisconsin’s bold education reforms returned power back to superintendents and school boards and how that’s paved the way for important education and budget reforms in Wisconsin. He also discusses how the federal government is trying to use its regulatory authority to override portions of the new ESSA law and micromanage how states spend and use their education dollars. This is why elections are so important. A Republican administration in 2017 could immediately lift the federal government off the states’ backs and unleash them to pursue major education reforms. And yet, in spite of the Obama administration’s overreach, Sen. Olsen insists that states still have a lot of leeway to make major reforms if they can act boldly.