Superintendent Election HQ 2021

Dr. Jill Underly Elected; Will Take Office in July 2021

Congratulations to Dr. Jill Underly on her election to the office of Superintendent of Public Instruction on April 6. We thank both Dr. Underly and Dr. Deb Kerr for putting their hats in the ring. Dr. Underly has been a close friend of Wisconsin Public Education Network and we look forward to working with her at the Department of Public Instruction to achieve equity and justice in funding and policy for our public schools. She will take office in early July.

Deb Kerr & Jill Underly on April 6 ballot

Deb Kerr (left) and Jill Underly (right) appeared on the April 6 ballot for Wisconsin’s Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Congratulations to Deb Kerr and Jill Underly for their Feb. 16 primary victories, emerging at the top of a strong field of dedicated educators and school leaders. Both of these candidates took the pledge to #VotePublic in our candidate survey, and we’re digging deeper into what that commitment means to each of them as the race heats up and we learn more about where they stand and how they’ll lead.

Click here to watch the full video of our March 11 Conversation with the Candidates on YouTube.

Click here to see their responses to our candidate survey:

  • Deborah Kerr – Wisconsin Public Education Network candidate survey
  • Jill Underly – Wisconsin Public Education Network candidate survey

Candidate websites and campaign contact info:

Wisconsin Public Education Network Digital Action Center — a one-stop-shop of Get-Out-the-Vote actions and resources!

Forums and events:

March 11, 6:30 pm: Wisconsin Public Education Network and the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin’s Conversation with the Candidates, moderated by Tony Chambers. See the full video of the forum below, or watch on YouTube or WisconsinEye.

Cool Resource: Video Series from A Better Wisconsin Together

Click here to watch A Better Wisconsin Together’s three-part video series on public education, DPI, and why the State Superintendent’s office matters, or watch all three videos below:

DID YOU KNOW? If you were signed up to receive absentee ballots through the year 2020, you need to sign up again for 2021! Absentee ballot requests must be made every year. Register and request your absentee ballot at for the 2021 elections.

Spring Election: April 6, 2021

The Wisconsin Public Education Network is dedicated to making sure voters are informed on the important issues over which the State Superintendent of Public Instruction presides and where the candidates stand on them.


All seven candidates for State Superintendent joined us on Jan. 7, 2021 for a fantastic two-hour, issue-oriented forum.

Watch our full video of the forum HERE, see it on the League of Women Voters of WI’s YouTube below (with caption capability), or access it on WisconsinEye.

Video Clips of Each Question and Answer at the Forum:

1. Candidate Introductions
2. What do you consider to be your greatest administrative strengths, and what are the areas you need to improve on?
3. If you could reopen schools to a “new normal” post-COVID, what would it look like?
4. How do you plan to make students feel safe in public schools, including Black students and students of color, LGBTQ+ students, and students with disabilities?
5. How will you lead efforts to balance requirements for federal accountability with support for districts to personalize learning that meets individual student needs?
6. How will you address the achievement gap [between students with disabilities–and especially students of color who have disabilities–and other students] in Wisconsin?
7. Why are you the candidate best suited to work with a legislature that may resist public education advocacy goals?
8. YES or NO: Do you support private voucher programs in Wisconsin? Do you support independent (non-district) charter schools in Wisconsin?
9. What will you do in your first 100 days at DPI, and why are you the best person for the job?

Meet the Candidates (click on a candidate’s name to view their website)

State Superintendent Race in the News:

Wisconsin Eye Candidate Interviews:

Candidate Surveys & Questionnaires

  • Click here to see the FULL RESULTS of the Wisconsin Public Education Network and League of Women Voters of Wisconsin State Superintendent Candidate Survey, released Jan. 6, 2021. Individual answers are linked below, along with the full text of our candidate survey.

Candidates’ Individual Answers to the Wisconsin Public Education Network’s Candidate Survey:
Click on a candidate’s name to view their responses to the our candidate questionnaire:

Full Text of Candidate Survey and Candidate Answers:

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