Education Week - November 16, 2016 - 19
In spite of the broader gridlock in
Congress recently, lawmakers have
been fairly active in moving education bills along, and in the case of
ESSA, over the finish line. But in
many cases, the real political challenge comes when the full House and
Senate vote on bills, said Jamie Fasteau, the director of education policy
at the Emerson Collective, which advocates for educational equity, and
a former top education staffer for
retired Rep. George Miller, D-Calif.
"I think both of these committees
could get a lot done. But that's not
where the bills end," Fasteau said in
an interview before the election.
Congress still has several education-related issues on its plate,
a few of which could be taken care
of in the lame-duck session before
Trump takes office. The House, for
example, passed reauthorizations of
career and technical education and
juvenile-justice laws earlier this year,
creating at least a chance for bills
that Obama could sign before leaving office Jan. 20.
Even if that career and technical
education bill doesn't get done during the lame-duck session, Fasteau
was still optimistic about its fate in
the next Congress.
"It is such an important issue for our
Republican members," he said. "And it
just garners less attention than a lot
of other issues. It could be something
that moves through quietly."
Other challenging education issues, however, will be left to the new
Congress, in conjunction with the
Those matters include reauthorizing the Higher Education Act as
well as the Head Start federal preschool program and considering any
early-childhood-education and childwelfare proposals from Trump. Both
the HEA and the Individuals With
Disabilities Education Act, which
governs special education, are well
overdue for reauthorization.
Although Trump did not discuss
it in detail on the campaign trail, he
did propose policies designed to reduce the financial burden of higher
education, such as capping repayments on federal student loans at
12.5 percent of income. It's unclear
how House Republicans, as well as
Democrats, would react to specific
proposals on the college-cost front.
Kline's departure, in particular,
could make things even more difficult for education in Congress, given
his record of moving bills out of his
committee and working with Democrats to draw up relatively popular
"The wild card there would be the
new leadership of the House Education and the Workforce Committee
and whether Kline's approach would
continue in Congress," said Martin
West, an associate professor of education at Harvard University who has
advised both Alexander and 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt
Romney on education issues.
"You could see work continue on
these secondary bills," West said.
"But what's most important with
respect to Congress is what control
of Congress means for any proposals to advance new spending, which
are much more difficult to envision
with the Republicans controlling the
House than would be the case otherwise."
Still, on higher education, West,
speaking before the election, said he
could see Congress adopting policies
to streamline the process of applying
for federal student loans and simplifying how students repay them.
vide for more school funding. The measure is estimated
to boost annual education funding by $157 million a
year. The state spends about $1 billion a year.
But in Oklahoma, voters rejected Question 779, a
measure that would have given teachers raises of
more than $5,000 in the coming year. The Sooner
State has suffered from a series of dramatic budget cuts in recent years after oil prices tanked. The
state's teachers are some of the lowest paid in the
country, and several districts there now hold classes
only four days a week.
After an electrifying 2014 rally over education budget cuts at the state capitol, dozens of Oklahoma teachers decided to run in the 2016 race for legislative seats.
The group, known by the local press as the "teachers
caucus" did not fare well, though. Only five of the 25
who made it onto this month's ballot were elected.
A ballot measure in Oregon and two ballot measures in California both passed overwhelmingly and
are set to bring millions of dollars to those states'
school districts in the coming years.
School choice advocates took blows in Georgia and
Massachusetts, where two expensive campaigns to
increase the presence of charter schools failed. Voters
rejected a ballot measure in Massachusetts to lift a cap
on that state's charter school presence. And, in Georgia, voters rejected a measure to allow the state to take
over its worst-performing schools and hand them over
to charter operators. (See related article, Page 20.)
Pre-K initiatives in several places had mixed
results. Voters in Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio, approved tax increases to expand prekindergarten
services. A quarter of a percent tax increase in Day-
Then there's how the leadership in
Congress approaches oversight of the
Every Student Succeeds Act, which
could be subjected to an awkward
and controversial transition from one
administration to the next.
Democrats, and in particular those
who favor strong student and school
accountability, will be anxiously
watching the Trump administration
to see if it rescinds or reconsiders
ESSA accountability and spending
regulations from the Obama administration. Republicans, meanwhile,
will probably feel emboldened to
press education officials to let states
and districts have more of a say in
ESSA regulations, and possibly rescind the Obama regulations altogether.
But beyond the bills and the control of committees, the attitude members take, especially during the first
phase of the Trump administration,
will also be crucial.
The real worry for many obser vers and advocates is that
education will be sucked into
any broader and more divisive
partisan dynamics that prevent
Cong ress f rom getti ng much
work done. Fierce debates about
how the Education Department
should regulate ESSA also show
that education hasn't been tota lly im mu ne f rom the more
typical Washington bickering
that can impede legislation or
"Both parties stand to be able to
contribute to the political theater
that puts politics before policy," said
Noelle Ellerson, the associate executive director of AASA, the School
Superintendents Association, in an
interview before the election.
ton will raise an estimated $11 million for pre-K
services over the next eight years. And Cincinnati's
voters approved a measure to raise its property tax
to serve 6,000 preschool students a year. A similar
ballot measure in Missouri failed.
In the quest to add to their tally of governors'
seats, Republican candidates won gubernatorial
races in Indiana, New Hampshire, North Dakota,
Vermont, and Utah, three of which were previously
held by Democrats.
Democrats won gubernatorial mansions in Delaware, Montana, Oregon, and Washington, none of
which was previously held by Republicans.
As of Nov. 11, North Carolina's governor's race between Republican incumbent Pat McCrory and Democratic candidate Roy Cooper was too close to call. The
governors there debated whether the Republicancontrolled legislature had in fact raised teacher pay
or if their accountability movement had run scores of
teachers away from the profession. That debate mostly
overshadowed the state superintendent's race, which
resulted in Atkinson, the nation's longest-serving
superintendent, losing her position.
In Indiana, where testing and school accountability have roiled its political body for years, that
state's already weakened Democratic Party took a
double blow. Republican Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb beat
John Gregg, the Democrat, for governor, and Democratic incumbent Ritz was ousted by Republican
STATE BALLOT MEASURES
Some of the notable education-related ballot
initiatives and legislative referendums that were
up for a vote Nov. 8 include:
| BILINGUAL EDUCATION PASSED
Repealed a statewide requirement that Englishlanguage learners be taught using only Englishimmersion programs. Would instead allow districts
and parents to choose a language-acquisition program
best suited to children's needs, without having to seek
a waiver. Those programs can include English-only,
dual enrollment, or sheltered immersion.
| Bonds for School Facilities PASSED
Authorized $9 billion in bonds for school construction
and modernization, including $3 billion for new
construction and $3 billion for modernization of
public school facilities; $1 billion for charter schools
and vocational education facilities; and $2 billion for
community college facilities.
| Intervention in Failing Public Schools
Would have allowed the legislature to authorize
an Opportunity School District for state interventions
for failing schools.
| K-12 FUNDING PASSED
Levies a 3 percent surcharge on the portion of any
household income exceeding $200,000 per year to
provide schools with $157 million more in annual state
| CHARTER SCHOOLS FAILED
Would have allowed the state board of education to
approve up to 12 new charter schools or enrollment
expansions to existing charter schools annually.
| CIGARETTE TAX FOR PRE-K FUNDING FAILED
Would have increased the state's cigarette tax from
17 cents to 67 cents per pack in order to provide $300 million
annually, mostly to expand the state's pre-K services.
| K-12 FUNDING FAILED
Would have increased the state's sales tax from
8 percent to 9 percent in order to provide, among other
things, a $5,000 raise for teachers in the coming year.
| K-12 FUNDING FAILED
Would have imposed a 2.5 percent tax on corporate
gross sales that exceed $25 million to provide $3 billion
worth of revenue to benefit public schools, health-care
services, and services for senior citizens.
| DROPOUT PREVENTION AND COLLEGE
Requires the legislature to provide an additional
$800 per high school student to an account
administered by the state education agency. Districts
could apply for the money and use it for career and
technical education, college readiness, and dropoutprevention strategies.
SOURCES: National Conference of State Legislatures; Education Week
EDUCATION WEEK | November 16, 2016 | www.edweek.org | 19
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - November 16, 2016
Education Week - November 16, 2016
Few Women Run School Districts. Why?
Trump’s Lesson Plan Awaited
A Day After Election, Classes Are Awash in Emotions
News in Brief
States Found to Offer 95 Kinds of Diplomas
Black Teachers Feel Pigeonholed On the Job, Report Says
DIGITAL DIRECTIONS: Eager to Innovate: African-American Teenagers and Technology
Positive Climates May Shrink Achievement Gaps
Q&A: ‘You Just Do the Work’
Proposed ESSA Spending Rules Encounter Stiff Resistance
Oklahoma Schools Chief Facing Campaign-Finance Charges
Sharp Questions Posed In Service-Dog Case
SNAPSHOT: Title IX and Transgender Students: Some Key Developments Over 44 Years
Governors and Schools Chiefs Results
Ed. Policy on Simmer as GOP Holds Congress
GOP Solidifies Hold on State-Level Leadership
State Ballot Measures
In Mass., Voters Shun More Charter Schools
Bilingual Education Set to Return to California Schools
Education Department May Again Find Itself in GOP Cross Hairs
Teachers’ Unions Spend Big, Mostly Fall Short in Elections
SUSAN MOORE JOHNSON: To Decentralize or Not? Is That Even the Question?
JIM HAAS: Oh, the Humanity!
GREGG WEINLEIN: The School Friendship Challenge
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
GARY BEACH: Does the U.S. Department of Education Need to Be Restructured?
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - A Day After Election, Classes Are Awash in Emotions
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - 2
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - 3
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - News in Brief
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - Report Roundup
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - States Found to Offer 95 Kinds of Diplomas
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - Black Teachers Feel Pigeonholed On the Job, Report Says
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - DIGITAL DIRECTIONS: Eager to Innovate: African-American Teenagers and Technology
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - Positive Climates May Shrink Achievement Gaps
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - 10
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - 11
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - Q&A: ‘You Just Do the Work’
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - 13
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - 14
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - Oklahoma Schools Chief Facing Campaign-Finance Charges
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - Sharp Questions Posed In Service-Dog Case
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - SNAPSHOT: Title IX and Transgender Students: Some Key Developments Over 44 Years
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - GOP Solidifies Hold on State-Level Leadership
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - State Ballot Measures
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - Bilingual Education Set to Return to California Schools
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - 21
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - Teachers’ Unions Spend Big, Mostly Fall Short in Elections
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - Senate/House Results
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - SUSAN MOORE JOHNSON: To Decentralize or Not? Is That Even the Question?
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - JIM HAAS: Oh, the Humanity!
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - GREGG WEINLEIN: The School Friendship Challenge
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - Letters
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - 29
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - 30
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - 31
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - GARY BEACH: Does the U.S. Department of Education Need to Be Restructured?
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - CW1
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - CW2
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - CW3
Education Week - November 16, 2016 - CW4