“Education Is On the Ballot” — Democratic Governors Highlight Accomplishments on Education
Democratic governors across the country are going on offense on education — running on strong records of funding public schools and putting forth bold plans to improve education while the GOP pushes divisive policies and cuts to public schools.
Here’s what Democratic governors have delivered or plan to deliver on education:
- Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs plans to invest in public schools to give every child a world-class education and raise teacher pay in Arizona to put it on par with the national average.
- Colorado Gov. Jared Polis has launched several successful education policies, including universal preschool and free full-day kindergarten.
- Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont provided record funding for schools, provided debt-free community college for full-time students, and invested $11 million in funding for summer programs.
- Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly worked with both parties to balance Kansas’ budget and fully fund schools after years of fiscal mismanagement.
- Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker has expanded access to early childhood education, raised teacher salaries, and made college more affordable. With the biggest investment in state history into early childhood programs and facilities, Gov. Pritzker set a goal to make Illinois the best state in the nation for raising young families.
- Maine Gov. Janet Mills has made historic investments in Maine schools, fully funding Maine’s public school systems for the first time in state history. She also expanded pre-k programs across Maine and passed a plan to provide two years of free community college to pandemic-impacted students.
- Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer delivered tuition-free community college for Michiganders and made the state’s highest ever per-pupil investment in public schools and closed the school funding gap — without raising taxes.
- Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, from his first days in office, made a major push to expand access to pre-k. His most recent budget included key investments in summer learning programs and the largest increase in per-pupil funding in 15 years.
- Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak donated his entire salary to public schools across Nevada, gave teachers their first raise in over a decade, and funded Nevada’s schools at their highest levels in state history.
- New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham worked tirelessly to deliver an education moonshot, investing over $1 billion into New Mexico’s education system. As governor, she doubled affordable pre-k enrollment, delivered historic educator pay raises, and expanded tuition-free college.
- Oklahoma State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister is calling for a bold investment in Oklahoma’s 700,000 school kids, focusing on solving the teacher shortage, partnering with parents, supporting students’ mental health, extending care and learning opportunities, and workforce development.
- Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek negotiated Oregon’s historic Student Success Act, providing $1 billion more every year in new funding for preK-12 education. As governor, she’ll improve Oregon’s graduation rates to 90% for all student groups by 2027.
- Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro has a plan to invest in vocational, technical, and computer science instruction in schools so that every student can chart their own career path. He is also fighting to ensure every school has at least one mental health counselor and will appoint parents to the State Board of Education.
- Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers funded public schools at their highest level in nearly two decades, secured the first special education funding increase in a decade, and helped fund a two-year tuition freeze for the UW system.
“Education is on the ballot this year, and Democratic governors are proving they’re leading on this issue by making record investments in public schools, teachers, and kids,” said DGA Communications Director David Turner. “To continue this progress and improve education for all, it’s critical that we elect Democratic governors this November.”