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An ongoing series of articles and videos featuring the stories of Wisconsin parents seeking the best education options for their kids.

Robin Vos, fresh off a victory that seals his role as Speaker of the Assembly and now coming on 30 years in local and state politics, threw out a couple olive branches at Gov. Tony Evers Thursday that cynics might say are just the post-election niceties that invariably morph into barbs and stiff-arms in the Capitol hallways.

There are numerous ways Wisconsin could move to a flat income tax while benefitting Wisconsinites across the income spectrum. The most obvious solution is to flatten the rate while increasing the standard deduction, as proposed by the Tax Foundation and the Badger Institute in the July 2022 report Tax Reform Options to Improve Wisconsin’s Competitiveness.

Do the state education bureaucrats, the schools of education, the consultants, the unions and the central offices know the one right way to teach math? That big test, the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP, found that not once in the past two decades have Wisconsin’s public schools managed to make more than 41% of 8th-graders proficient in math.

Right after scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP, came out, Wisconsin’s chief public school regulator, state Superintendent Jill Underly, issued a press release headlined, “Wisconsin elementary school students buck national trends in ‘National Report Card’ release.”

This is not true: Wisconsin’s scores fell by every measure since the last time children took the test, in 2019, just as scores fell for every other state.

Flummoxed by a staggering amount of money and by guidelines for how to spend it, Wisconsin counties and cities are spending tens of millions of dollars of American Rescue Plan Act funds to try to administer American Rescue Plan Act funds.

For the people who need it most — poor residents of Milwaukee, families and victims of particularly violent crimes like homicide and aggravated assault throughout the state, children in schools where politicians won’t allow police, and almost anyone awaiting a verdict — Wisconsin’s criminal justice system is failing.

Chershanta Smith can’t imagine her daughter, Gabrielle, attending school anywhere other than St. Marcus Lutheran School in Milwaukee’s Brewer’s Hill neighborhood. And that’s not only because she believes her daughter is receiving an excellent education at St. Marcus through the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, but because the school’s community has embraced and supported her entire family.

At the start of the pandemic in 2020, Wishkub Kinepoway faced two family crises with some crying, some praying and a lot of determination. A member of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians and a Shawano County transplant, Kinepoway knew she needed to make a change for her children. She also knew that change wouldn’t come without school choice.