MADISON, Wis. (AP) - State superintendent Tony Evers and challenger Don Pridemore are clashing over expanding the voucher program and freezing public school spending.
The two debated Wednesday before about 300 school board members and administrators at a meeting of the Wisconsin Association of School Boards.
Pridemore is a Republican state representative running to oust Evers as head of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. Evers is completing his first term in that office.
Pridemore supports Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to expand vouchers and freeze public school spending. He says budgets are tight and schools shouldn't expect to be able to spend more.
"A lot of these common core standards really started with international standards. Now, why should we be beholden to some worldwide organization that's just trying to dumb down America," says Rep. Pridemore.
Evers opposes the governor's plan and wants spending to go up $225 per student.
"Every time we get into this as a state, it just sucks the air out of the room, and I'm very fearful that this discussion will continue to suck the air out of the room so that we can't focus on the common core state standards or our assessment systems or new accountability," says current State Superintendent, Tony Evers.
The debate comes less than three weeks before the April 2 election.
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