At Education Opportunity Network, Jeff Bryant has assembled important updates and lessons for education advocates as we all assess where the 2018 election season leaves us.
One of the big winners in the 2018 midterm elections you may not have heard about was education funding. Why this may be news to you is because much in the same way some observers incorrectly concluded the blue wave was merely a ripple, quick takes on last week’s results of important education-related ballot referendums have overlooked important lessons to learn about where and when increased funding for schools can win.
First, high-profile ballot initiatives to boost school funding statewide have always had mixed success. This year’s referendums were no exception.
Voters in Georgia overwhelmingly passed a constitutional amendment that allows school district within the same county to put sales and use tax increases for funding public schools on local election ballots.
Maryland’s voters nearly unanimously voted to dedicate from state video lotteries to education supplementary funding, potentially boosting school spending by $125 million in 2020, with an additional $500 million annually thereafter.
In New Jersey, voters passed a ballot referendum that raises $500 million in funding for school security. And a strong majority of Montana voters agreed to continue a mill levy that provides an estimated $19 million a year to the state’s university system.