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Election Day 2017: 8 Important Education Races to Watch Tuesday

November 6, 2017
The 74

After last year’s wild Election Day, including nearly two dozen races and ballot questions that centered on education, Election Day 2017 is set to be a significantly sleepier Tuesday.

That said, schools and students have come up in some of the state and local-level races.

Here are some to watch:

Virginia governor: Among the most closely followed contests this year, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, faces Ed Gillespie, a lobbyist and Republican politico. The two have sparred over standards and school choice. Outside interests, including teachers unions and moneyed GOP donors, have brought in education issues that reach beyond the commonwealth, including policies advocated by the Trump administration.

New Jersey governor: Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno is trailing significantly in the bid to replace her current boss and Trump confidante, the deeply unpopular Gov. Chris Christie, who didn’t hesitate to spar with teachers unionsShe has called for reforming the state’s school funding formula, creating merit pay for teachers, and expanding school choice.

Former Goldman Sachs executive Phil Murphy, a Democrat, wants to boost school funding, create universal pre-K, and back out of the PARCC testing consortium in favor of shorter tests.