Election Ushers in Plenty More State Board Members, NASBE Reports

By Daarel Burnette II — November 23, 2016 1 min read
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At least three states will see major changes on their state boards of education next year after this month’s election, according to a National Association of State Boards of Education report.

In Michigan, where the board had long been dominated by Democrats, two Republicans won seats on the board this year, making the board evenly split between Republicans and Democrats.

In Utah, three incumbent board members lost their seats and two others were defeated in the primaries.

And in Colorado, where the board has drawn plenty of scrutiny in recent years for its oversight of the education department, the board could shift from Republican to Democratic control if Rebecca McClellan beats incumbent Republican Debora Scheffel. That race is currently too close to call, but McClellan currently holds the lead.

Eleven states this year held state board of education elections.

Seven other state boards where members are appointed will have dramatic shifts after new governors were elected on Nov. 8. Those states are Delaware, Indiana, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Vermont, and West Virginia.

NASBE points out that state boards will have plenty more power in the coming years to shape education policy under the Every Student Succeeds Act.
“Since ESSA delegates significant new responsibilities to states and to state boards, new members will face a steep learning curve as they take their seats at the board table next January,” according to the report.

View the entire chart of state board elections.

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