Campaign manager for DPI Superintendent candidate Deb Kerr steps down

I haven’t followed the race for Department of Public Instruction Superintendent much (well not at all really) but I find this tremendously interesting….

For those of you playing along at home Deborah Kerr advanced to the April 6 general election where she’ll face Jill Underly, who has the backing of educators and a number of elected officials and school superintendents. Savage’s decision comes on the heels of recent revelations Kerr had posted a message when she was 16 that she had been called a racial slur because “my lips were bigger than most and that was the reference given to me.” In response to the revelations Kerr deleted her Twitter account and apologized for the message, but the damage had clearly already been done, as the original revelation had been widely circulated across social media.

As if to underscore the reasons why Brandon Savage chose to step down from from Kerr’s campaign a new report from Julian Emerson of Up North News notes Kerr has refused to say she opposes spending public money for school vouchers while her opponent Jill Underly has been vocal in her opposition to public funding for voucher schools.

During several candidate debates in recent weeks, Underly was outspoken in her opposition to using public funds to help fund private voucher and non-district charter schools, saying doing so undermines dollars for public schools that already are too little. 

Kerr, meanwhile, refused to say that she opposes spending public money for vouchers. She has received support and donations from supporters of vouchers and political conservatives. In Tuesday’s election she carried many Wisconsin counties that supported President Donald Trump in the November presidential election. 

Interestingly (but unsurprisingly) a review of Deborah Kerr’s most recent campaign finance report shows her campaign received a $1,000 contribution from Friends of Alberta Darling, while another report shows a $15,000 conduit contribution from Arthur Dantchik, who is noted as being a strong proponent of state-paid vouchers for private school students, having poured millions of dollars into a pro-vouchers political action committee in Pennsylvania.

While Deborah Kerr has not openly stated her support for diverting public education funds to private schools via vouchers, the fact that she’s received tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from pro-voucher individuals/committees sheds a lot of light on where she likely stands on the issue.

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