On this Election Day – Governors Who Took a Hardline on Higher Education Finding Stiff Competition!

Dear Commons Community,

Of the 36 gubernatorial elections being decided today, three have special resonance for people in higher education.In each case, a Republican governor took a hard line on higher-ed spending; in each case, that governor now finds himself in electoral peril. As reported in The Chronicle of Higher Education:

“Two high-profile incumbents, Gov. Rick Scott of Florida and Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, are fighting for re-election in races that are considered tossups. And then there’s one race that is not close: In Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Corbett is considered a likely loser on Election Day.

Those three were among the wave of new Republican state lawmakers and executives who swept into office in the 2010 elections, giving the GOP control of a majority of the nation’s governors’ mansions and legislative chambers. Their election followed the recession, as state governments struggled with shrinking tax revenues.

The three governors ripped pages from the same playbook: deep cuts for higher education at a time when enrollments were increasing.

But their attempts at higher-education reform have not gone all that smoothly. Now, at the end of their first terms in office, all three find themselves largely at odds with their college constituents.

Defeats on Tuesday for Governors Corbett, Scott, and Walker could bring shifts in policy for their states’ public colleges. But don’t expect a big increase in appropriations if their Democratic opponents win: Most state economies continue to grow slowly, and the challengers say they will focus largely on relieving student debt, not on increasing spending for colleges.”

Get the word out and VOTE!


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