While the big story from yesterday’s election was clearly that President Obama won a second term, many voters across the nation also approved or rejected ballot initiatives that directly involved education issues. Here is a scorecard of key votes on issues involving education:
- Charter Schools: Georgia approved creation of a new state level commission to approve charter schools; Washington State, which had not previously allowed charter schools, approved creation of charters by either local school board or state commission.
- DREAM Act: Maryland approved a state version of the so-called DREAM Act, granting in-state, two- and four-year college tuition to undocumented immigrants.
- Vouchers: Florida upheld the division between church and state by rejecting Amendment 8 to its state constitution, which would have permitted religious schools to use publically-funded vouchers.
- Merit Pay: South Dakota rejected a law that would have eliminated tenure and instituted merit pay, based in part on test scores; Idaho voted down a measure that would have established a $38 million dollar fund for teacher’s merit pay. Another Idaho measure that would have eliminated collective bargaining rights and required that 50% of a teacher’s evaluation be linked to objective measures of student academic performance also failed.
- Funding: Missouri rejected an increase in state taxes on tobacco that would have provided more funding for K-12 education; Arizona voters also rejected an extension of a 1-cent sales tax increase set to expire in 2013, even though it would have provided at least $625 million annually for schools; but in California, voters approved Proposition 30, which would raise individual income taxes on annual earnings over $250,000 to fund K-12 education. California voters also approved a separate measure that would increase taxes on earnings of over $7,000 per year for seven years to create another fund for education. Oregon also approved a measure that would require certain funds that are already collected to be directed to K-12 education.
- Online Learning: Idaho rejected a measure that would have provided every student with a laptop and required them to take at least 2 credits online or in a blended learning course in high school.
Did we miss any ballot measures in your state? Share them with us in the comment section.