State and local elections colleges should pay attention to

Some ballot measures send more funding to schools

Twelve states also held gubernatorial elections on Tuesday.

One particularly contentious race, for North Carolina's governor, was not yet called as of 9:45 a.m. on Thursday. Incumbent Gov. Pat McCrory (R) supported the controversial bill that regulated use of bathrooms, including those at the state's public colleges and universities.

With all precincts reporting, contender Roy Cooper (D) appears to be leading by a margin of fewer than 4,500 votes. Cooper claimed victory Wednesday but McCrory has not yet conceded.

In Indiana, Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) won his campaign for governor and stands to replace Gov. Mike Pence, who left the race to become Donald Trump's running mate. Pence is a controversial figure for his stance on LGBT rights and has expressed support for a measure that would allow organizations to deny service to LGBT individuals for religious reasons.

However, Holcomb has said that LGBT rights will not be a focus of his administration. He has said that he would like to slow down the rising cost of tuition by and create programs that provide training to individuals returning to the workforce.

Ten states posed referenda to voters on Tuesday that have implications for higher education.

California voters approved a $9 billion School Facilities Fund to help schools, including colleges, build and maintain their infrastructure. Of the fund, $500 million is to be allocated to facilities that provide career and technical education and $2 billion is reserved for community college facilities.

Best practices for reining in deferred maintenance

Louisiana voted against allowing colleges and universities to change their tuition and fees—the state legislature will maintain the final approval on such decisions.

Oklahoma voters rejected a measure that would have raised sales tax and allocated more than $118 million to public institutions annually.

Several states voted to legalize recreational use of marijuana, including California and Massachusetts. Many of the decisions mean new sources of funding for specific areas of higher education, such as research and workforce training. However, the federal government still requires institutions that receive federal funding to ban marijuana from campus (Read et al., Chronicle of Higher Education, 11/9; Stratford et al., Politico, 11/09; Kreighbaum, Inside Higher Ed, 11/8; Taylor,NPR, 11/6; Ballotpedia, accessed 11/9; New York Times, accessed 11/10; Wootson, Washington Post, 11/9; Lee, WNEP, 11/9; Colombo, Indianapolis Business Journal, 11/8;  Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, 11/9).

 


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