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The 2012 Election: The Education Impact
posted by: Ruthie | November 07, 2012, 07:30 PM   

The votes are in and the people have spoken. President Obama's re-election means four more years of unprecedented federal education spending and education reform-minded competitive grants. As the dust settles on the 2012 election, experts are predicting a continuation of an active Department of Education and changes to some controversial state education laws.

As Education Week pointed out in their Voter's Guide, President Barack Obama made several decisions that have been influential in education over the last four years. At the beginning of 2009, he signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known as the stimulus, which allocated $100 billion in new spending for education and created a number of new competitive grant programs. Race to the Top is the most prominent of these programs, awarding grants to states that embraced Obama-backed education reform priorities. Additionally, President Obama has offered flexibility on the mandates of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) via controversial federal waivers.

With his second term beginning, President Obama's new plan for education will be implemented immediately. The most specific changes he mentioned during the campaign include conditioning a portion of federal college aid partly on student incomes; creating a new version of his Race to the Top education program, focusing on postsecondary education; and recruiting and training 100,000 new math and science teachers.

Additionally, the president is already working with Congress to head off looming the sequestration, which will cut every federal agency, including the US Department of Education. He is also currently trying to correct the shortfall in the Pell Grant program.

On the state level, many states will soon see a transition via various ballot measures and newly elected governors and state superintendents.

In Idaho, the state's current Student's Come First laws relating to technology, collective bargaining and teacher evaluations were defeated.

The Washington state charter initiative still has a slim lead according to the Seattle Times. The law would bring a limited number of public charter schools to the state.

The Michigan teachers union lost its bid to include collective bargaining privileges in the state constitution.

Due to Republicans regaining the Wisconsin state senate, the fate of Governor Scott Walker's collective bargaining reforms and expansion of the voucher program remain bright.

In Indiana, Republicans kept their supermajority in the General Assembly and a new GOP governor, Mike Pence, will take the helm.

Perhaps the most shocking result is the defeat of incumbent Indiana schools chief, Tony Bennett, to Democratic Glenda Ritz. Bennett's reforms included increased emphasize performance and accountability in schools.

Click here to read AAE Executive Director Gary Beckner's statement on the 2012 election.

What are your thoughts about the 2012 election results?
Comment below.

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