Education is at the forefront of the issues plaguing many states, according to a report from the Education Commission of the States that details the state-of-the-state addresses of 42 governors and the mayor of the District of Columbia.
As might be expected, most of the priorities that the state-leaders outlined were related to funding, or lack thereof.
“A clear trend we see is the emphasis our nation's governors continue to place on education as a means of investing in the future of their states. We see this across the education pipeline, from increasing access to preschool to ensuring high school graduates are ready for college and career to focusing on the affordability of higher education," ECS President Jeremy Anderson said in an emailed response to AS&U.
Of primary focus was expansion of funding to make career and technical education available, as well as increased funding and access to dual enrollment in high school and college, early learning opportunities, increased funding for K-12 education, and increased funding for teacher compensation. Governors also expressed concern regarding ever-increasing higher education prices, with several calling for a freeze in tuition rates.
The governors’ call for increased education funding aligns with the proposed education budget from the White House, which calls for a $1.3 billion increase in the education budget.
Governors in eight states have either not given, or are not yet scheduled to give, state-of-the-state addresses this year, the report said.