Tuesday was Election Day, but as Wednesday dawned, many key races—and the all-important question of who would control Congress—remained in doubt. That outcome will be significant for colleges, their employees and their students, and when the votes are finally tallied, we’ll tell you what they mean for higher education.
Amid the uncertainty, some things were clear. Most of the key congressional players on higher education, Democrats and Republicans alike, won re-election. Senator Patty Murray, a Democrat from Washington State, won re-election, for instance. She has been the chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and faced a tougher than expected re-election bid.
At the same time, many in higher education were watching the states.
In Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican, easily won re-election. He has feuded with Florida academics over new laws he supported that many professors said violate academic freedom.
In Pennsylvania, Josh Shapiro, a Democrat, was elected governor. He has vowed to improve job training in high schools and after.
In Massachusetts, Maura Healey was elected governor. A Democrat, she said she would continue to call on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in student loan debt held by borrowers. She also called for more spending on community colleges, which she called a “major driver of economic mobility.”
There were also referenda on the ballots. In Los Angeles, voters were considering $5.3 billion in campus renovations for the Los Angeles Community College District. The Los Angeles Times said early returns indicated that voters were “leaning toward” passing the measure, which requires 55 percent to pass.
This article will be updated Wednesday as results continue to emerge.