Table: Gubernatorial Candidates and Their Education Platforms for 2004

October 26, 2004 5 min read
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State Candidate Campaign Platform
Delaware Gov. Ruth Ann Minner (D)
Proposes statewide, full-day kindergarten by 2008. Wants to create a Delaware Teacher Corps that would pay for teachers’ education at state schools if they teach in the state. Backed by the 11,000-member Delaware State Education Association.
Bill Lee (R)
Former judge. Wants to scrap much of Delaware’s current education structure and calls for eliminating three-tiered high school diploma system. Would abandon state’s accountability testing.
Frank Infante (L)
Small business owner. Pledges to make education a priority. Advocates limits on class sizes. Opposes reductions in education spending.
Indiana Gov. Joseph E. Kernan (D)
Like his predecessor, Gov. Frank L. O’Bannon, who died last fall, Kernan, who was lieutenant governor, would continue to push for full-day kindergarten. Supports increasing number of charter schools and making state schools chief an appointed position.
Mitch Daniels (R)
Former director of the White House Office of Management and Budget. Wants to raise number of charter schools and make state schools chief an appointed position. Favors simplifying school funding and increased access to kindergarten.
Kenn Gividen (L)
Small business owner. Proposes converting state’s public schools to charters. Would give each student a $4,500 voucher to attend his or her school of choice.
Missouri State Auditor Claire C. McCaskill (D)
Proposes to overhaul school funding formula, give schools financial incentives to cut administrative costs, and audit districts every three years. Pledges to raise teacher salaries and require competitive bids on school bonds.
Secretary of State Matt Blunt (R)
Vows never to cut state aid to schools. Wants to hike teacher pay, create merit-pay programs for educators, and make it easier for career-changers to enter the field. Backs more flexibility in state core-curriculum requirements.
John M. Swenson (L)
Backs Libertarian platform of local control of schools. Would eliminate red tape for home schoolers and promote privatization in schools.
Montana Brian Schweitzer (D)
A rancher. Says state isn’t paying its fair share for K-12 education. Urges Montana to work with other states and Congress to get more funding for federal No Child Left Behind Act. Wants high school counselors to better promote community colleges.
Secretary of State Bob Brown (R)
Advocates increase in state aid for K-12 education. Proposes repayment of student loans up to $12,000 for newly graduated teachers serving in areas with teacher shortages.
New Hampshire John Lynch (D)
Businessman and former chairman of state university system. Wants to abolish controversial statewide property tax for schools and target more state education dollars to resource-poor communities. Vows to veto cuts in state aid for schools.
Gov. Craig Benson (R)
Seeks to reduce state property tax for schools and provide $2,000 kindergarten vouchers for use in public or private schools. Backs plan to give students credit for out-of-school learning opportunities. Wants “personal learning plan” for every student.
North Carolina Gov. Michael F. Easley (D)
Would again push for a state lottery, with proceeds to benefit education. Calls for expanding “More at Four” state prekindergarten program. Proposes smaller high schools. Opposes school vouchers.
Patrick Ballantine (R)
Lawyer and former state legislator. Proposes 5 percent increase in teacher salaries. Backs budget and staffing cuts to state education department. Has a plan to raise student reading achievement. Opposes school vouchers.
North Dakota Joe Satrom (D)
Owns a travel agency. Proposes significant increases in teacher salaries. Calls for more equitable school funding and higher academic standards.
Gov. John Hoeven (R)
Endorsed by North Dakota Education Association. Wants to continue to raise teacher salaries. Backs increased state aid to schools and more equitable funding for the neediest districts. Backs expanded incentives for districts that share resources.
Utah Scott Matheson Jr. (D)
Law school dean. Opposes tuition tax credits and vouchers for children in private schools. Backs charter schools and school choice within districts. Proposes “ombudsperson” program in schools. Would cut government bureaucracy to give education more money.
Jon Huntsman Jr. (R)
Former aide to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Favors education voucher bill vetoed by Gov. Olene S. Walker, a Republican. Backs higher salaries for first-year teachers and increased local control of schools. Critical of the No Child Left Behind Act.
Vermont Peter Clavelle (D)
Mayor of state’s largest city, Burlington. Opposes federal No Child Left Behind Act, saying it has not helped improve education in Vermont. Critical of incumbent’s plan to give parents statewide public school choice. Rejects publicly financed school vouchers.
Gov. Jim Douglas (R)
Touts his Healthy Kids initiative, which is designed to combat child obesity. Backed failed bill in last legislative session to let parents choose among public schools for their children. Would continue to press for that choice plan.
Washington State Attorney General Christine O. Gregoire (D)
Opposes state ballot measure to allow charter schools. Pledges to modify state assessment system, without committing to halt using it as a graduation test. Opposes, as regressive, state ballot initiative to add 1 percentage point to state sales tax for education.
Dino Rossi (R)
Resigned as state senator to run for governor. Backs ballot measure to allow charter schools. Supports performance-based pay for teachers. Opposes sales-tax ballot initiative for education, saying he will not support any voter-initiated tax.
West Virgina Secretary of State Joe Manchin III (D)
Supports legislation proposed by outgoing Democratic Gov. Bob Wise to slow school consolidation. Advocates raising teacher salaries. Wants to hold down administrative and transportation costs “associated with the closing of small, community-based schools.”
Monty Warner (R)
Retired U.S. Army colonel is now a real estate developer. Would oppose any school consolidation not approved by a local school board. Advocates locally run schools and wants parents to be involved in their children’s education.


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