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How important is education in Oklahoma's gubernatorial race?

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Before they became political rivals, Governor Kevin Stitt and State Superintendent Joy Hoffmeister banded together.

In 2020, when they were Republicans, the two stressed the need to stay vigilant in schools. That’s what I mean.

“We are working with schools across the state to assess the situation as it develops on a daily basis,” Stitt said. at a press conference following the game.

“Thank you, Governor,” said Hoffmeister. “Nothing is more important than the safety and well-being of our students, their families and those who work for them at school.”

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the pair were more or less matched.

But things have changed.

They cut back on policies, especially those related to masks and keeping schools open amid soaring cases.

Today, the pair are facing off in the governor’s race, and it looks like a close race. vote faster.

“What we’re seeing this year is that Kevin Stitt is gaining about 70% of the Republican nominations, while he’s losing 15%,” said the Sooner Poll founder. Bill Shapard said.

And the polls were surprisingly close in red-hot Oklahoma. Although Hoffmeister gained a lot of support in her new party, Schappard says Stitt seems to have lost many Republicans to his challengers.

“Then why is that?” said Chapard. “Is it because they see her as a Republican, they like her as a Republican, and they’re trying to stick with her a little? I guess you are doing

Education is usually an afterthought in election campaigns, especially national elections, says OU political scientist and education policy expert Deven Carlson.

“Education policy can participate in these gubernatorial elections because education is ultimately a state-level issue,” he said.

Education is a clear line between Hoffmeister and Stitt.The governor has made it clear that he is fully involved in vouchers and school selection, but the state’s superintendent of education says those kinds of policies will have a negative impact on traditional public schools. It has become a common dichotomy of race all over the country.

“Historically, public education was really supported by both parties,” Carlson said. “And over time, education became a more partisan issue, with public education and the benefits that came with it becoming more relevant to Democrats and school choice more generally to Republicans.”

But school choice also faces many challenges oppose within the GOP.this is especially unpopular With rural Republicans.

Ultimately, any change in education policy comes down to money. And whoever wins, whether or not they can achieve their goals will largely depend on what Congress wants or doesn’t want to do.

In the last session, lawmakers flattened public education funding and failed to pass a large private K-12 scholarship bill. At the same time, they put billions of dollars into a shoddy fund.

“I haven’t seen much happening at the state level when it comes to education since the teachers’ strike and subsequent legislation that addressed a lot of demands from the public education community over the next few years,” Carlson said. rice field.

The race is tight.faster voting and Amber Integrated Both polls show that the incumbent governor has a slight lead in the red. Education, in particular, may have played a role in spurring public school voters toward Hoffmeister, who was in attendance as state superintendent at the 2018 strike.

abortion. inflation. education. All these issues combine to drive people to polls. However, it remains unclear to what extent this issue will ultimately change in Oklahoma. Ultimately, voters will decide that on Election Day.

“Education is probably more relevant to this race than it is to many,” Carlson said. “But it’s still far from the only issue voters think about or care about when they vote.”