When BizTimes Milwaukee set out to create Wisconsin 275, a special publication profiling the most influential business leaders in the state, we sent a questionnaire to each of the 275 individuals that we picked to include on the list.
Most responded, and they provided some interesting and thoughtful answers to our questions.
Due to space limitations, we could only include some their responses to the questionnaire with their profiles in the print edition of Wisconsin 275. So, we are doing a series of stories online about each question in the Wisconsin 275 survey.
We asked the Wisconsin 275: What is one thing you would change about Wisconsin to make it even better? Their answers to that question touched on a number of topics including politics, education, taxes, diversity and inclusion, and even the weather. We are doing several stories about how members of the Wisconsin 275 answered this question, with each story focusing on a common topic brought up in their answers.
For our second story about this question, we are going to share answers that related to the state’s education system.
What is one thing you would change about Wisconsin to make it even better?Kevin Anderson, market president, Old National Bank:“Ensuring that every child in our great state has the opportunity for an outstanding primary education experience. We have the resources and educator talent to accomplish this goal. This one improvement would have a positive impact on Wisconsin's economy and growth for generations to come.”
Bob Atwell, executive chairman, Nicolet National Bank:“Our K-12 education system used to be best in the country.”
Rick Graber, president and CEO, The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation:
“Wisconsin has so much potential -- but we are held back by government policies. Most importantly, we must improve our K-12 education system by enabling all parents to choose the best education option for their children -- whether public schools, charter schools, home schooling or private schools. The more options the better. The pandemic proved that a one size fits all approach is not working. We owe it to the kids.”
Eric Hovde, CEO Hovde Properties LLC:“Improve our schools. Far too many of our children are not getting properly educated today.”
Most Rev. Jerome Listecki, archbishop, Archdiocese of Milwaukee:“One thing I would like to see is greater strides in education, especially for under-served populations in our cities.”
Sheldon Lubar, chairman and founder, Lubar & Co.:“Very low college tuition.”
Richard Poirier, president and CEO, Church Mutual Insurance Co.:
“We need to do a better job promoting the excellent public education we have in this state -- it will attract future investment in business as well as talent.”
Gus Ramirez, executive chairman, Husco International; founder, St. Augustine Preparatory Academy:“Union-controlled public education in urban areas such as Milwaukee is a disaster and must be transformed to improve.”
Austin Ramirez, CEO, Husco International:
“Funding children rather than schools, also known as 'backpack funding'. In Milwaukee nearly 50% of kids attend choice or charter schools but only receive about 60% of the funding as their district (MPS) peers.”
Tim Sheehy, president Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce:
“Getting more traction on the educational attainment of low income Black and Brown students to help them achieve their potential, while providing Wisconsin's economy with the talent it needs to prosper.”
Jud Snyder, regional president, BMO Wealth Management:“We can do better for our children, especially in Milwaukee. There is no simple or easy answer, however I strongly believe that every child deserves to have a stable home and access to a quality education. We all know that if we provide kids with a strong education early in life, their life and the lives of their family will be considerably better in the years ahead.”
Kathy Thornton-Bias, president and CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee:“Improve education, work towards equity, and improve the economics of our most underserved residents.”
Gary Witt, president and CEO, Pabst Theater Group:“Revise funding for schools to not be based upon property taxes within zip codes and instead be population based, distributing the money more equally.”
[gallery size="full" td_select_gallery_slide="slide" ids="560465,560208,560395,560375,560340,560305,560345,560289,560290,560266,560262,560251,560226"]
Read the latest issue of STUFF, a BizTimes Media publication highlighting southeastern Wisconsin careers in manufacturing, construction and the trades. Learn more about STUFF here: