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Election Recap: States Will See Changes to Education Policy

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November 9, 2012

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Election Recap: States Will See Changes to Education Policy

Winners have finally been declared in the two closely contested U.S. Senate races in Montana and North Dakota. Incumbent Sen. Jon Tester (D) has defeated Rep. Denny Rehberg (R), the outgoing chairman of the House Labor, HHS and Education Appropriations Subcommittee, in Montana. In the open race to fill the seat of retiring Sen. Kent Conrad (D), the Democratic candidate and former North Dakota Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp beat Rep. Rick Berg (R). 

At the state level, Montana, North Carolina and New Hampshire all elected new Governors on Tuesday. In Indiana, Rep. Mike Pence (R) was selected to succeed the term-limited Gov. Mitch Daniels (R). Pence campaigned on a CTE platform in which he pledged to “enhance career, technical and vocational career pathways for high school students by engaging local employers and educators in designing demand-driven curriculum and providing applied learning opportunities.” He plans to create regional workforce councils comprised of employers and educators who will provide a comprehensive evaluation of CTE opportunities for high school students in each region. These councils will also have the power to develop “alternative curriculum” for career pathways with high-wage, high-demand jobs.

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We also wanted to update you on some important state ballot measures that will impact education, which had mixed results across the country. In Idaho, Propositions 1 and 2, which focused on restricting collective bargaining rights for teachers and instituting a pay-for-performance system for teacher compensation, were both defeated by the voters. Proposition 3, a referendum on an online learning bill that was signed into law by Idaho’s governor in 2011, also went down on Tuesday. 

One of the more controversial education ballot issues of the year, a state-level version of the DREAM Act, won over the voters in Maryland. The measure will allow the children of undocumented immigrants to receive in-state tuition at public colleges and universities if they meet certain conditions. California voters approved income and sales tax increases to help fund education, while Proposition 204 in Arizona, a measure to permanently enacting a one cent sales tax increase for education, was defeated.

Be sure to check back on our CTE Policy Watch blog for more on how the election may impact the future of education policy as the next few weeks unfold.

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