Does Rep. Pridemore’s Vision for Wisconsin Education Include Barring Certain Children from Public Schools?

Lawmaker's Racist Proposals Raise Alarming Questions About Planned Schemes for Education

MADISON, Wis. — Republican Assembly Rep. Don Pridemore today announced his campaign to be State Superintendent of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. Given that Pridemore’s most notable “accomplishments” as an elected official have been to author a racist, Arizona-style “papers please” attack on immigrants and the unconstitutional voter identification bill, One Wisconsin Now has serious concerns Pridemore’s agenda is the restriction on education opportunities for certain children.

“Don ‘White’Pridemore has probably revealed himself as the biggest racist in the Wisconsin legislature,” said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. “His ignorance and xenophobia should be alarm bells to the parents of every single public school student interested in a quality public education for their kids.”

Ross encouraged reporters across Wisconsin to demand Pridemore answer whether he would seek to restrict the public education opportunities of the children of undocumented immigrants and whether he would be reintroducing his racist “papers please” bill in the upcoming legislative session.

“Pridemore owes us answers to two questions: Will he try and kick certain immigrant children out of public schools and when he is going to reintroduce his racist ‘papers please’ bill,” said Ross. “If Pridemore isn’t reintroducing his racist Arizona bill, then he needs to say why he’s suddenly changed his mind.”

After Pridemore introduced his racist bill in the last legislative session, One Wisconsin Now immediately filed an open records request to obtain all communications and constituent emails of people who has reached out to Pridemore and asked him to introduce the Arizona bill. Pridemore did not have a single communication before the bill was introduced from anyone in Wisconsin encouraging him to do so.

Ross also noted that Pridemore voted for the largest cuts to public education in our state history — nearly $2 billion between K-12 and the University of Wisconsin and Wisconsin Technical College Systems in favor of $2.3 billion in tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy.

“With his racism and his voting record, as a whole, Don Pridemore may have the worst resume on education and children that Wisconsin has ever seen,” concluded Ross.

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