Election Day: Implications for K-12

May 18, 2010 2 min read

While the political junkies are fixated on the U.S. Senate races in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Arkansas, I’m following a few gubernatorial primaries and a sales tax measure on the ballot in Arizona that have more obvious implications for public schools than those high-profile races. (Unless, of course, you count Rand Paul’s promise to deep-six the U.S. Department of Education if he becomes the next senator from Kentucky.)

In the Democratic gubernatorial primary in Pennsylvania, public school vouchers have been a central issue for state Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams of Philadelphia, who is running against three other candidates. Williams has received more than $3 million from a political action committee (bankrolled by three wealthy businessmen) that supports vouchers and charter schools, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Williams founded a charter school in Philadelphia that has had some troubles.

Despite that big money, Williams has been trailing Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato, who, if he wins, will likely face Republican Tom Corbett in the general election. Corbett is the state attorney general.

In Arizona, voters will decide today if they are willing to temporarily increase the state sales tax in order to stave off deep cuts to public schools. Even if voters approve the measure, which would generate $1 billion, state lawmakers will likely still have to reduce spending on K-12 in the fiscal 2011 budget. Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican, has urged voters to approve the measure.

And in Oregon, Jim Kitzhaber, a former two-term governor is the frontrunner in the Democratic gubernatorial primary. The GOP ballot has two candidates for governor, though Oregon has not elected a Republican to its top job in more than two decades.

Also, Susan Castillo, the superintendent of public instruction in Oregon, is running for her third term against Ron Maurer, a Republican who served two terms in the state Legislature. Castillo is expected to win, though her leadership hasn’t excited editorial writers at the Oregonian, who called the fact that she has no formidable challenger a “lost opportunity.” Ouch.

UPDATE: In Pennsylvania, Dan Onorato and Tom Corbett will battle it out to become governor. All that pro-school voucher money couldn’t propel Anthony Hardy Williams to first place.

Arizona voters gave a resounding victory to Proposition 100, which will raise the state sales tax by one cent for every dollar for the next three years. And in Oregon, Susan Castillo squeaked out a victory to claim a third term as state schools chief.

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


Jobs The EdWeek Top School Jobs Virtual Career Fair
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Mathematics Webinar
Engaging Young Students to Accelerate Math Learning
Join learning scientists and inspiring district leaders, for a timely panel discussion addressing a school district’s approach to doubling and tripling Math gains during Covid. What started as a goal to address learning gaps in
Content provided by Age of Learning & Digital Promise, Harlingen CISD
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Curriculum Webinar
How to Power Your Curriculum With Digital Books
Register for this can’t miss session looking at best practices for utilizing digital books to support their curriculum.
Content provided by OverDrive

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

States Let School Officials Seek Gun Limits for Potentially Violent Students, Feds Suggest
A model state "red flag" bill would let school officials ask courts to halt students' access to guns if they are deemed a risk.
4 min read
Students protest after the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Fla.
Students protest after the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Fla.
High school students rally at the Capitol in Washington on Feb. 21 in support of those affected at the Parkland High School shooting in Florida. J. Scott Applewhite/AP
States From Our Research Center A User’s Guide to the Grading and Methodology
Here's a quick and easy guide to the grading scale and each of the indicators that go into making up the 50-state grades for school finance.
EdWeek Research Center
4 min read
Illustration of C letter grade
States From Our Research Center State Grades on School Finance: 2021 Map and Rankings
Examine the grades and scores that states and the nation earned on school finance, along with how they scored on a host of indicators.
EdWeek Research Center
1 min read
Illustration of C letter grade
States States Missed Opportunity to Provide Key Data About Schools During Pandemic, Report Says
An analysis of states' school report cards finds many failed to report key indicators, like absenteeism and school spending.
4 min read
Illustration of a woman on a laptop presenting data graphics to two women and one man.
iStock/Getty Images Plus