State superintendent-elect Glenda Ritz, who is a Democrat, and Senate Education Committee Chair Dennis Kruse, who is a Republican, say there are several issues on which they plan to work together in the upcoming legislative session.
On a Thursday panel previewing education issues in the next session, the tone between Ritz and Kruse was far from contentious. On several issues, the two expressed similar views and a desire to work together, such as addressing early childhood education.
Kruse says he wants to stop distributing full-day kindergarten funding via block grants, something he says allows schools to choose not to offer the program.
“I think every child at this point in time the way our funding is going and the way education is, I think it’s best for us to have all-day kindergarten part of the school-funding formula,” Kruse says.
Kruse also wants the state to simplify the A-F school grading system, something Ritz says she fully supports.
“I want to just look at individual student achievement, you know, make it that simple whereby we know the percentage of students in our schools that actually are improving and that’s how we use our improvement pieces,” Ritz says.
But Ritz also wants to lower the mandatory school attendance age from seven to five years old, something Kruse says he doesn’t necessarily support at this time.