Above: Members of the Rhinelander High School building trading class are Governor Tony Evers in the center, State Superintendent Jill Underley far right, and Instructor Will Roche second from right. Starjournal’s photo.
Eileen Persike, Editor
Rhinelander – At the start of the new school year earlier this month, Gov. Tony Evers and State Superintendent Jill Underley traveled to the state to welcome students into their classrooms. Rhinelander High School was one of the destinations on his itinerary.
“It’s the start of the school year and I’m always excited to talk about it and our ability as a state to move the state forward, especially with the public schools doing a great job,” said Governor Evers. .
RHS students, staff and administrators took the opportunity to speak with two state leaders about the district’s community approach to preparing students for the future.
Student officers from the FBLA and DECA business clubs, as well as members of the building trades class, spoke with the governor about their involvement and future. Two of his students working through Inspire Rhinelander, one in Health in Motion physiotherapy and her other in Ponsse forestry products, spoke about his shadowing experience. Student Services staff spoke about the value of matching children with mentors and other ways to connect schools and communities.
“It was a great pleasure and honor to welcome Governor Evers and the Superintendent of Underley,” said Rhinelander School District Superintendent Eric Burke. “They were interested in learning about our plans to prepare students for their future careers through the Inspire Rhinelander and Pathways program. With our community-wide approach to , we know we’re doing something special here.”
Evers has since said he likes what the district is doing.
“[They are] We’re trying to integrate the district more with the community in a variety of ways, whether it’s social-emotional learning or career preparation,” said Governor Evers. I’m happy to hear that we’re making progress to involve the entire community.”
At the end of August, Evers announced that schools would receive $15 million from the federal American Rescue Plan Fund to provide mental health services in schools statewide, with an additional $75 million from school districts for staffing and other classroom support. announced that it can be used for
During a school tour, Evers said he and Underley have developed “key priorities” for children and schools for the next two years’ budget in case he is re-elected in the fall. said he did. These priorities are to put his $2 billion of his projected $5 billion state budget surplus into education and “get us back where we belong.”
In Rhinelander, Evers acknowledged that $2 billion is a lot of money and said it could be done consistently year after year.
“For example, out of that $2 billion, we proposed $250 million in decisive aid for mental health issues. They say there’s money available, and it’s a mental health issue,” Evers said. “What we are trying to do is take the first step toward consistent funding for schools.”
Some of the areas Evers and Underly plan to improve reading and literacy, expand access to mental health services and school nutrition, invest in financial literacy and out-of-school programs, and lack staff to sustain It is support for coping with. Reduce class sizes and increase special education aids per student.