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What Do Tuesday’s State and Local Elections Mean for K-12?

By Michele McNeil — November 06, 2013 1 min read

Colleague Andrew Ujifusa kept you up to date over at State EdWatch on the key state and local elections that were decided last night. And over at District Dossier, colleague Lesli Maxwell tracked the Boston and New York City mayoral elections. What does all this mean for K-12?

1. Big change could be coming to Boston and New York City. Both New York City‘s mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, and Boston‘s newly annointed Martin J. Walsh will get to appoint new superintendents. In New York City, de Blasio is likely to scrap Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s A-F school grading system and may not be as friendly to charter schools. Meanwhile, Walsh, a Democrat, supports the lifting of an existing state cap on charter schools and has called for a longer day for the school system. Both new mayors champion early education.

2. In Virginia, Democrat Terry McAullife’s win could mean more money for K-12 schools after four years of Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell in office. But that all depends on how state legislative races shake out, Andrew explains on State EdWatch.

3. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s trouncing of his opponent means more than just a second term for this usually middle-of-the-road and currently popular Republican governor. It’s likely that on this blog at least, we’ll be talking a lot about his 2016 presidential aspirations. Christie has staged several high-profile battles with teachers’ union leaders in his state during his first term in office.

4. The defeat of a ballot measure in Colorado to raise taxes to increase funding for the state’s public schools proves once again that while voters want better schools, they usually want someone else to pay for them. It also shows that late, big-money contributions from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Michael Bloomberg had little impact.

5. But, Colorado voters will tax recreational marijuana users to help pay for schools. A ballot measure to levy a 25 percent tax on marijuana passed easily. About $28 million a year in revenue from the tax will fund school construction.