Educators, Advocates Chase Political Office in Several States

By Daarel Burnette II — January 03, 2018 1 min read

Governors will have an outsized role in the coming years in crafting their states’ education agendas. And with 36 governors’ seats are up for election this year, candidates for that job and others already are crafting their thoughts on the state of public education and how they plan to improve it.

In Wisconsin, state superintendent Tony Evers, a Democrat, filed last year to run for that state’s governorship, putting several of his policies, including the state’s accountability plan under the Every Student Succeeds Act, under Republican scrutiny.

Previously, Jared Henderson, the former head of a nonprofit group that recruits teachers to work in low-income areas, said he will run as a Democrat in the Arkansas race for governor race.

And in Ohio this week, State Sen. Joe Schiavoni, a Democrat and candidate for governor, said state board member Stephanie Dodd will run with him as a candidate for lieutenant governor.

Already, teachers and principals have already filed to run for state office, such as the state legislature, where the bulk of education policies are now decided, as we’ve noted here.

But the governorship remains the big prize, and it’s no surprise to see K-12 high on the list of campaign topics.

“We see time in and time out that education has been a big driver in thinking for gubernatorial candidates,” Javaid E. Siddiqi, the executive director of the Hunt Institute, which trains state politicians interested in the governor position about education issues, told Education Week earlier last year. “Governors are going to be, whether they want to or not, thrust into the limelight and forced to lead on several education policy decisions in their states.”

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A version of this news article first appeared in the State EdWatch blog.