Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Senate Committee Chairs Named.  Given the plethora of analysis in the wake of the election, I resisted putting in my own one-and-a-half cents, but needless to say things changed dramatically in Minnesota with the Republicans taking control of the State Senate.  Just yesterday, the new Senate leadership headed up by Majority Leader-designate Paul Gazelka of Nisswa announced its committee structure and the chair-designates for each of those committees and subcommittees.

The good news for SEE members is that all of the key players on education and tax policy are familiar with SEE's positions on tax fairness and education funding issues.  That certainly doesn't ensure a complete adoption of SEE's platform (a lad can dream), but the learning curve will not be as steep on the finer points of the organization's mission

Here is a story from Minnesota Public Radio outlining the Senate Republicans' new committee structure and the chair-designees.

Republican Committee Chairs

National Education Policy.  Education did not receive a lot of attention during the Presidential campaign and with the election of Donald Trump, things are foggier than they would have been had Hillary Clinton won.  A Clinton administration's policies toward education would have likely been an extension of what was established under President Obama, which for the most part are variations on the same theme first embarked upon during the administration of former President George H.W. Bush (Bush 41 for those of you keep score at home).  The only inkling of where President-elect Trump's education policy will go comes in the area of charter schools and school choice.  Early indications are that policy may tilt that way.  To what extent is anyone's guess.

All I know is Diane Ravitch is a bit worried, as reflected in this article from The New York Review of Books.

When the Public Goes Private, as Trump Wants: What Happens?

Whether or not Ravitch's concerns are premature remains to be seen.  

Here is an article from The New York Times that provides some light on President-elect Trump's statements on education from the campaign trail, but there's a lot of open policy space left on issues that have yet to be touched upon.

Where Donald Trump Stands on School Choice, Student Debt and the Common Core

And, as I am writing this, President-elect Trump has chosen Betty DeVos to be his Secretary of Education.

Trump Chooses Betty DeVos for Secretary of Education

Here is a link to Betty DeVos' biography on Wikapedia:

Betty DeVos Biography