Election Day puts Education in the Spotlight

The upcoming election day of November 6, 2012 promises to have a significant impact on education policy around the country.  Under the larger discussion of fiscal policy, which has consumed much of the Presidential campaigns of both President Obama and Governor Romney, the issue of education has risen to the fore multiple times.  While neither candidate has offered many specifics, Governor Romney has expressed agreement with plans to cut domestic discretionary spending, which includes education, but Governor Romney has also denied any desire to cut education spending. President Obama has employed his record on Race to the Top and efforts to reform underperforming schools as initiatives deserving of voter support, while Governor Romney has mentioned his desire to expand various school choice options as a key platform goal.

Beyond the Presidential discussion of education, state and local political races and ballot initiatives concerning educational issues consume less of the headlines, yet in reality are much more likely to impact education in United States in a significant way. For example, 44 out of 50 states are holding legislative races this year.  Republicans look to hold onto the majority of those positions, meaning that increased levels of school choice and continued decreases to the ability of teachers’ unions to employ collective bargaining may be in store. Furthermore, many state ballots contain ballot initiatives related directly to issues of funding and education.

For further details, Education Week has created a breakdown of candidates’ views on education as well as a voter’s guide for the educationally conscious voter. For more, see http://www.edweek.org/ew/collections/election2012/candidates-on-education.html and http://www.edweek.org/ew/collections/election2012/voters-guide.html