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Elections in Three States Are Low-Profile, But High-Stakes for Education

If you think the contest for the White House is the only election to watch right now, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Mississippi would like a word with you.

Those three states are holding gubernatorial elections, as well as down-ballot contests, on Tuesday. I wrote about education policy issues in those states’ elections earlier this year. Arguably, the governor’s race with the biggest potential impact on public schools is in Kentucky, where Democrat and state Attorney General Jack Conway is facing off against Republican Matt Bevin, a business executive who unsuccessfully tried to unseat U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell last year. 

Bevin is an opponent of the Common Core State Standards, and although he wouldn’t have the power simply to chuck the standards overboard on his own if he were to win the election, his power to appoint members of the state board could ultimately endanger the common core’s status in the state. (New state chief Stephen Pruitt, an alumnus of one of the key backers of the standards, Achieve, might have something to say about that.)