Teaching quality and school finance have emerged as key areas of focus for governors around the nation as the first wave of State of the State addresses roll in. Assessments, teacher recruitment and school choice also are common themes among the 17 addresses delivered before state legislatures as of today.

Education Commission of the States tracks and provides summaries of education-related portions of each governor’s address, and frequent updates will be added in the days and weeks ahead. Highlights will be captured in an annual report to be published in early March.

“In this early round of State of the State addresses, governors have proposed an assortment of strategies to enhance education and ultimately boost the economic and social growth of their citizens,” said Stephanie Aragon, a researcher at Education Commission of the States. “More and more, governors across the nation have made education one of their top priorities for 2016.”

Some key highlights from recent State of the State addresses: 

  • Several governors on both sides of the aisle, including Gov. Sam Brownback in Kansas and Gov. Jay Inslee in Washington expressed the need to improve teaching quality through higher salaries or bonuses for exceptional work.
  • Iowa Gov. Terry Brandstad was not along in his call to increase overall education funding. Specifically, Brandstad proposed a $145 million increase in K-12 funding, bringing total pre-K-12 education spending in the state budget to more than $3.2 billion.
  • Indiana Gov. Mike Pence zeroed in on assessments, with a desire to ensure that 2015 test scores fairly reflect the performance of schools and do not affect teacher bonuses or compensation.

For questions, contact Education Commission of the States Communications Specialist Brady Delander at bdelander@ecs.org or (303) 299.3622. 

Tweet this ECS report!

  • Check out @edcommission summaries of state of the state addresses here bit.ly/1ZvEFzK #edpolicy
  • Updates  to @edcommission summaries are made as more governors deliver state of the state addresses bit.ly/1ZvEFzK #edpolicy
  • View summaries of education-related proposals from the state of the state addresses by state, year & issue bit.ly/1ZvEFzK #edpolicy

Additional ECS resources: 

  • View summaries of education-related proposals from State of the State addresses by state and issue, from 2011-15.

 PUBLISHED: January 19, 2016

 AUTHOR(S): Unspecified



 STATE(S): Nationwide

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