Education Issues Highlighted in 2016 State Elections

CTE Policy Watch: A blog for CTE advocates


Education Issues Highlighted in 2016 State Elections

Posted: 03 Oct 2016 02:17 PM PDT

cte-election

In addition to the presidential and congressional races, state-level elections and ballot measures will have a large impact on CTE issues in 2016. At the top of the statewide ticketare 12 gubernatorial races that will be decided on November 8, in states like North Carolina, Missouri and Indiana. Governors play a major role in setting the education and workforce development agendas in their states, and must work with their legislatures to implement education policies and establish budgets to fund CTE programs. Nearly every state will also hold elections for state legislatures, as well as races for statewide offices, including some state school officials and members of state boards of education.

In addition to elected offices, education ballot measures will be decided in many states. Ballot initiatives allow voters to weigh in directly on proposed changes to state policy. The most common types of ballot initiatives include popular referendums, state constitutional amendments, bond funding issues and tax proposals. Several states will decide on ballot measures to increase funding for public education through the sale of state bonds or tax increases. Voters in Oklahoma will consider a one percent sales tax increase to generate $615 million for improving education, which may include addressing teacher shortages, increasing college and career readiness, and improving career and technology education. California is seeking approval to issue $9 billion in bonds for repairs and upgrades to K-12 schools, community colleges and other postsecondary institutions.

If approved, a proposed state constitutional amendment in South Dakota would empower the legislature to determine who governs postsecondary technical education institutes. Additionally, an Oregon measure would require state funding for dropout prevention and career and college readiness programs. Visit the Election Watch 2016 page on our website or the CTE Policy Watch Blog for more information and election coverage.

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October 4, 2016