Education and the 2018 Elections
Wisconsin’s top school official will now take over as that state’s governor, and that could mean increases in public school funding, along with better relations with teachers and organized labor.
State Superintendent Tony Evers, a Democrat who has been elected three times to that job, declared his victory in the very close race over incumbent Republican Gov. Scott Walker, tweeting “A change is coming, Wisconsin.”
Evers’ supporters were ecstatic.
After upending Wisconsin politics and infuriating liberals across the country, Gov. Scott Walker narrowly lost his bid for a third term Tuesday to Tony Evers, the leader of the education establishment Walker blew up eight years ago.
The Associated Press called the race for Evers about 1:20 a.m. Wednesday based on unofficial returns.
Education spending. Teacher pay. School choice. School safety. A sitting state school superintendent challenging a sitting governor. K-12 education played a huge part in the 2018 midterm elections, especially at the state level. Here’s how election night shook out when it came to selected, high-profile races of interest to educators:
Voters across Allegheny County narrowly rejected a ballot initiative on Tuesday that would have raised property taxes by a quarter mill to funnel $18 million annually to children’s programs.
With 97 percent of precincts reporting, preliminary results showed county residents voted 51.8 percent to 48.2 percent to reject the tax hike that would have created the Allegheny County Children’s Fund. The rejection came despite a months-long, million-dollar campaign promoting the fund that was financed largely by local nonprofits.
Before any precincts reported — just early voting and mail-in ballots counted — Superintendent Alberto Carvalho declared victory for the Miami-Dade school referendum question.
“It’s won,” he said. The early tally was quite a divide: About 70 percent — the overwhelming majority of Miami-Dade County voters — approved a four-year property tax hike to pay teachers more and hire enough school police officers to staff every school.
Right after the bell rings to end the school day, Shari Gateley hurriedly tidies up her classroom and dashes into the teachers’ lounge. She emerges in sneakers and a campaign T-shirt, ready to knock on doors for Drew Edmondson, the Democratic candidate for governor in traditionally Republican Oklahoma.
Opening on-campus early voting sites, installing a practice voting booth with sample ballots and throwing election turnout parties: These are some of the ways college campuses across the country are trying to get students to vote in Tuesday’s midterm election.
They walked out of class by the hundreds of thousands. They spoke in front of a few fellow students in classrooms and in front of millions on television. They marched on Washington and on large cities and small towns across the country.
The demonstrations against gun violence led by high school and college students this year in many ways opened the door for a generation of young activists and participants who found their voice and tackled a scourge that had taken the lives of their peers.
While we wait for the results of today’s voting, let’s take a few minutes to consider media coverage of education issues leading up to Election Day 2018.
No doubt, there has been a lot of midterm-focused education coverage in the past few weeks and months – much of it quite interesting and useful.
But it hasn’t been as accurate as it should have been at times — in particular when it comes to writing about the “record number” of educators running for office, which has become something of the dominant narrative in the last few weeks.
A political novice, Republican businessman Bill Lee has defied conventional wisdom to become Tennessee’s next governor. Now he’ll have to show that he can govern, too, over a state that has pioneered education reforms for a decade and climbed national rankings on student achievement.
Lee touted his outsider and business background in cruising to victory Tuesday over former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean. A native of tony Williamson County, south of Nashville, he has run a 1,200-employee company there with annual revenues of $250 million.
Education won’t be top of mind for all voters on Tuesday. But in some parts of the country, schools are at the heart of intense political battles.
In Wisconsin, teachers unions are hoping a former educator will oust their longtime foe, Scott Walker. In Arizona, a school voucher program is on the ballot — though school choice advocates aren’t happy about it. And across the country, local school board races, dozens of governors’ elections, and the fight for Congress are all set to shape education policy for years to come.
Get Out the (Teen) Vote
How school shootings, Trump, and campus activism are shaping civic engagement
(EWA Radio: Episode 188)
What’s on the minds of teens eligible to vote for the first time this year? Where do they get the news and information that’s shaping their views of candidates? How have their families, school experiences, and recent current events like the Parkland school shooting and President Trump’s agenda influenced their political awareness? Alyson Klein of Education Week takes us inside the publication’s new poll of voters ages 18 and 19, sharing insights from follow-up interviews with some survey respondents.
Tomorrow is Election Day, in case you haven’t been conscious lately. While education may not be a top issue driving people to the polls (according to one POLITICO/Morning Consult poll) and may have been far overshadowed by health care on the campaign trail, it has been a talker in many state and federal races.
Young voters are in the spotlight this election as onlookers wonder if they will turn out in larger numbers than in the past. Just 22 percent of young people voted in the 2014 midterms, the lowest rate of any age group.
A new survey from the Education Week Research Center set out to better understand the youngest of youth voters, 18- and 19-year-olds. Results from more than a thousand respondents showed many young voters are suburban, identify as liberal and cite school shootings as their top concern.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard that the 2018 election is on Tuesday. So what are the big issues? Which state races should you be paying attention to? What about congressional races? And what will the outcome of the election mean for the Every Student Succeeds Act and U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos?
We’ve got you covered.
Republicans are expected to retain control of the Senate, although education is playing in some tight races. The massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is an especially hot issue in Florida.
In Oklahoma, nearly 100 current and former educators put their names on the primary ballot. At least two of those educators were inspired by the same moment during that state’s teacher walkouts.
Republican Kevin Stitt wants a teacher pay increase included in next year’s state education budget, while Democrat Drew Edmondson is willing to hold off for at least a year on another salary increase for educators, the gubernatorial candidates said Wednesday.
In its proposed Fiscal Year 2020 budget, the state Board of Education included $440 million in new annual spending for the school funding formula, school counselors, alternative education programs and other support services.
The department’s proposed budget does not include an increase in teacher pay.
Teachers say they are more than frustrated about rising health care costs, stagnant state funding for education and what they see as constant attacks on their profession.
They’re angry. And they’re organized.
Across the country, educators have been building momentum toward improving education funding through walkouts and political rallies. In places like Oklahoma and West Virginia they’ve successfully pressured legislators for better salaries and funding and even voted some officials out of office.
What’s Motivating Teens to Vote?
Education Week survey, national polls offer insights into young voters
In a new national survey, concern about the February shootings at a high school in Parkland, Fla., was the top reason cited by eligible teen voters as motivating them to cast a ballot. And students who said they had taken civics classes were also more likely to say they planned to exercise their right to vote in the midterm elections.
U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos suspended her political giving when she joined the Trump administration in 2017, but her husband and other family members remain prolific GOP contributors as they donate vast sums prior to Tuesday’s mid-term election.
The DeVos name has become a pejorative rallying cry for Democrats who bemoan the family’s long-running influence over state and federal education policy. But their continued political giving could be critical in Republicans retaining control of legislative or congressional chambers.