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Midterm elections could shake major school boards

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Key congressmen on the House and Senate Boards of Education and Appropriations are likely to be re-elected this November, but their decision-making power will depend on which party controls which House. There is

Kyle Kondick, editor-in-chief of the Sabbath’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Political Science, said that while election forecasters now predict that Republicans will overthrow the House, control of the Senate is within four weeks of Election Day. Confused in., provides a bipartisan political analysis. Some think the Democrats have a chance to keep the House.

So far, higher education lobbyists and policy pundits expect North Carolina Rep. Virginia Fox to lead the House Education and Labor Committee if Republicans do secure a majority. Who will head the Senate committees on health, education, labor and pensions is an open question as lawmakers retire and move to other leadership posts, but Vermont independents are caucus with Democrats. Some hope for a possible combination between Senator Bernie Sanders and a Republican Senator. Rand Paul of Kentucky.

“I don’t think the combination is likely to be a bipartisan recipe,” said Michelle Dimino, deputy director for education at the center-left think tank The Third Way.

The possibility of Paul leading the HELP committee in 2020 has worried lobbyists and policy experts, who feared it would undermine the work of the U.S. Department of Education.

Along with the House as a whole, 35 Senate seats are on ballot nationwide. This includes 14 seats controlled by Democrats and 21 seats controlled by Republicans. The Senate is currently split 50/50 with Democrats in the majority.

Jonathan Fansmith, vice president of government relations for the American Council on Education, said, “Whenever we move from one party controlling both houses of Congress to the possibility of dividing or controlling Congress, what that means is that It has great meaning.

Fox is expected to easily win the bid for a 10th term, Kondik said. . Foxx is a longtime board member and former chairman.

“This is a committee she has chaired for a long time and has been an important member of,” Fansmith said. “She is very passionate about it. It’s no shock that I want to leave my mark on the work of the Commission.”

Foxx will likely go against everything President Biden wants and bring campaign rhetoric about the role of race in education to committee hearings. 19 criticized what they said was misuse of relief funds, saying one school district had used the money “to pay for a radical curriculum to educate its students.”

Democratic Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro of Connecticut and Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma, who leads the House Education and Budget Committee and the Republican delegation on the committee, are also seeking re-election. Election forecasters don’t see these races as competitive and expect both lawmakers to win.

On the Senate side, Republican Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina retired this year, leaving a vacancy at the head of the HELP committee. Democratic Senator Patti Murray of Washington, who chairs that committee, is slated for re-election this year.

Kondik said Murray appeared to be on track for re-election. She consistently leads the polls, and she won the top two primaries in August with 52% of the vote. At the primary election, the two candidates with the highest percentage of votes, regardless of party, advance to the general election.

If Murray does win, lobbyists and policy experts say he is likely to become the top Democrat on the Appropriations Committee. The Democratic head of that committee, Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, will retire later this year, along with the Republican head of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama. Senator Susan Collins of Maine is expected to replace Shelby.

Collins will probably get along well with college.

With Murray’s replacement on the appropriations committee, Sanders will next chair the HELP committee. Meanwhile, Paul will be the highest-ranking Republican on the committee after Burr’s retirement, but Paul will also head the Senate Homeland Security Committee.

Like Dimino in The Third Way, Fansmith said the Sanders-Paul combination at the top of the committee could cause problems for bipartisans. , said it is an area of ​​collaborative and bipartisan cooperation.

“Both are strong senators,” Fansmith said. “Both have national profiles. Both have very strong partisan views and are not shy about expressing them. It’s a very polar opposite view of what a role is.”