2016 Election


The Advocate

Noelle Ellerson Ng, associate executive director, Policy and Advocacy
AASA, The School Superintendents Association

After months of endless campaigning, the 2016 elections came to a close. This month’s Advocate provides a quick overview of where AASA stands and what it will mean for federal education policy decisions. Please note that votes are still being tallied and this information will change, particularly as (hopefully) more information becomes available about President-elect Trump’s education platform.

  • Donald Trump won the electoral college vote and will be the 45th president of the United States of America.
  • Secretary Clinton won the popular vote and will likely do so by the largest margin of any candidate to win the popular vote and lose the electoral vote.
  • The White House, U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate are all under Republican control. Some will say this vote outcome results in a mandate for conservative policy changes. We have yet to see how the Democrats in the House and Senate will respond and if they will be collaborative or combative.
  • At play, from a federal point of view, are the FY17 appropriations process, Supreme Court nominations, concerns related to Trump rescissions of Obama regulations and executive orders.
  • Explicit to education, details are light. President-elect Trump’s education platform borders on non-existent. He has made reference to policy, and they are captured in the ‘good reads’ section below but he has put forth very little in terms of specific proposals: $20 billion choice initiative, an early education/child care option, and getting the federal government out of the higher education loan business.
  • In terms of the U.S. Department of Education, the big questions are if he will move forward with his statement to eliminate USED, removes it as a cabinet-level position or if he just leaves it be (or ignores it completely). Speculation on who could serve as Education Secretary covers a gamut so wide I won’t list the names. He may take action to reverse the course of the Obama administration on the ESSA supplement/supplant regulations and has expressed efforts that would have implications for pulling back the federal overreach of the Office of Civil Rights. Again, full details TBD.
  • At the state level, as of this writing, Republicans have the trifecta (holding the governorship and both state chambers) in at least 23 states. This is in addition to the other 27 states, where they may hold one or two of the three leadership spots. Add this to the trifecta at the federal level, and there are strong implications for GOP priorities.
  • Also at the state level, here is how Governor races turned out: Democrats won in DE, MT, OR, WA and WV. NC leans democrat. Republicans won in IN, MO, NH, ND, UT and VT.
  • Stay up to date with AASA advocacy, on the blog and twitter (@Noellerson, @SPudelski, @LeslieFinnan).

Good reads: