Mid-Term Elections Recap

On November 8, voters cast their ballots in the mid-term elections determining new leadership in Congress, governors’ mansions, and state legislatures across the country. Votes for several races are still being tallied, but we have an idea of how the outcomes will impact education for the next two years. In addition to the congressional and gubernatorial races, voters in several states weighed in on propositions and ballot initiatives affecting education in their communities.

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Federal Elections

During this year’s elections, all 435 House seats and 35 senate seats were up for election. The final makeup of the 118th Congress has yet to be decided, as several House and Senate races are either undecided or are in the midst of runoffs. Meanwhile, we do know that the Democrats have retained control of the U.S. Senate with at least 50 Democratic Senators and the vote of Vice President Kamala Harris, and Republicans have gained control of the U.S. House of Representatives with at least 218 Representatives. Because Republicans gained control of the House, leadership of House Committees will be turned over to the GOP, while leadership of Senate Committees remains under Democratic control. Below, you’ll find the expected outcomes of Senate and House Committee leadership elections.

Expected House Committee Leadership (Education Committee in bold):


Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R-PA-15) / David Scott (D-GA-13)


Kay Granger (R-TX-12) / Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-03)

Armed Services:

Mike Rogers (R-AL-03) / Adam Smith (D-WA-09)


Jason Smith (R-MO-08) / Boyle (D-PA-02) or Brian Higgins (D-NY-26)

* Smith is also running for the Chair of the Ways & Means Committee

Education & Labor:

Virginia Foxx (R-NC-05) / Bobby Scott (D-VA-03)

*Foxx needs a waiver of term limit rules to be chair

Energy & Commerce:

Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA-05) / Frank Pallone (D-NJ-06)

Veterans’ Affairs:

Mike Bost (R-IL-12) / Mark Takano (D-CA-41)

Financial Services:

Patrick McHenry (R-NC-10) / Maxine Waters (D-CA-43)

Foreign Affairs:

Michael McCaul (TX-10) / Gregory Meeks (D-NY-05)

Homeland Security:

Clay Higgins (R-LA-03), Mark Green (TR-N-07), or Dan Crenshaw (R-TX-02) / Bennie Thompson (D-MS-02)

House Admin:

Bryan Steil (R-WI-01) / Zoe Lofgren (D-CA-19)


Jim Jordan (R-OH-04) / Jerrold Nadler (D-NY-10)

Ways and Means:

Vern Buchanan (R-FL-15), Adrian Smith (R-NE-03), or Jason Smith (MO-08) / Richard Neal (D-MA-01)

Natural Resources:

Bruce Westermann (R-AR-04) / Raul Grijalva (D-AZ-03)

Oversight & Reform:

Rep. James Comer (R-KY-01) / TBD –Eleanor Norton (D-DC), Stephen Lynch (D-MA-08), or Gerald Connolly (D-VA-11)


Tom Cole (R-OK-04) / Jim McGovern (D-MA-02)


Sam Graves (R-MO-06) / Eleanor Norton (D-DC) or Rick Larsen (D-WA-02)

Small Business:

Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO-03) / Nydia Velazquez (D-NY-07)

Science, Space, & Technology:

Frank Lucas (R-OK-03) / Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR-01) or Ami Bera (D-CA-07)


Expected Senate Committee Leadership (Education Committee in bold):


Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)/ John Boozman (R-AR)


Patty Murray (D-WA) / Susan Collins (R-ME)

Armed Services:

 Jack Reed (D-RI)/ Roger Wicker (R-MS)

Banking and HUD:

Sherrod Brown (D-OH) / Tim Scott (R-SC)


Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) or Bernie Sanders (I-VT) / Chuck Grassley (R-IA)


Maria Cantwell (D-WA) / Ted Cruz (R-TX)


Joe Manchin (D-WV) / John Barrasso (R-WY)

Environment and Public Works:

Thomas Carper (D-DE) / Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)


Ron Wyden (D-OR) / Mike Crapo (R-ID)

Foreign Relations:

Robert Menendez (D-NJ) / James Risch (R-ID)


Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Bob Casey (D-PA), or Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) /Bill Cassidy (R-LA)

Homeland Security:

Gary Peters (D-MI) / James Lankford (R-OK) or Rand Paul (R-KY)


Dick Durbin (D-IL) / Lindsey Graham (R-SC)


Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) / Deb Fischer (R-NE)

Small Business:

Benjamin Cardin (D-MD) / Joni Ernst (R-IA)

Veterans’ Affairs:

Jon Tester (D-MT) / Jerry Moran (R-KS)

State Elections

While federal elections determine who will be on the national stage advocating for education policy, state elections play an equally important role, as they determine who will be shaping education policy at the state level. During this year’s mid-term elections, voters across the country cast their ballots for their state’s governor. The governor plays an important role in state education policy, as they appoint members to the state board of education and other key roles within the state’s education framework. Of the 36 states voting for governor, 27 re-elected their incumbent (individual currently serving in the position), while voters from nine states elected a new candidate.

Newly elected Governors

Arkansas: Sarah Huckabee (R)

Hawaii: Josh Green (D)

Maryland: Wes Moore (D)

Arizona: Katie Hobbs (D)

Massachusetts: Maura Healey (D)

Nebraska: Jim Pillen (R)

Nevada: Joe Lombardo (R)

Oregon: Tina Kotek (D)

Pennsylvania: Josh Shapiro (D)


Chief State School Officers

In addition to voting for their state’s new governor, voters in seven states cast their ballot for their chief state school officers. The results of those elections can be found below.

California: Tony Thurmond (NP)

Georgia: Richard Woods (R)

Arizona: Tom Thorne (R)

Idaho: Debbie Critchfield (R)

Wyoming: Megan Degenfelder (R)

Oklahoma: Ryan Walters (R)

South Carolina: Ryan Walters (R)


State Boards of Education

The governors in Arkansas, Arizona, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Pennsylvania all have the power to appoint members to their respective state boards of education, which will most likely result in new members being appointed once those governors take office. Additionally, eight states and the District of Columbia held elections for a combined 51 seats on state boards of education. Of the 51 seats available, 27 went to new members, meaning this incoming class of education board members are predominantly new to their role. The chart below includes the total number of available seats and how many went to a new member in each state.

Alabama: 4 out of 9 seats open

Result: 3 incumbents/1 new member

Colorado: 4 out of 9 seats open

Result: 2 incumbents/2 new member

Kansas: 5 out of 10 seats open

Result: 2 incumbents/3 new members

Michigan: 2 out of 8 seats open

Result: 1 incumbent/1 new member

Nebraska: 4 out of 8 seats open

Result: 2 incumbents/2 new members

Ohio: 5 out of 11 seats open

Result: 2 incumbents/3 new members

Texas: 15 out of 15 seats open

Result: 9 incumbents/6 new members

Utah: 8 out of 15 seats open

Result: 3 incumbents/5 new members

State Legislative Elections

Forty-six states held elections in 88 of their 99 legislative chambers this November. Similar to the federal elections, there are still a few races yet to be called, so the exact makeup of state legislators remains unknown just yet. So far, Democrats gained control of the Michigan House and Senate, the Minnesota Senate, and the Pennsylvania House. Counting the gains made by Democrats, Republicans control 54 legislative chambers across the country while Democrats control 40.

Ballot Measures


More than 60% of California voters approved Proposition 28 that would increase arts funding for public schools. Proposition 28 takes one half of 1% (roughly $1 billion) of California’s yearly education budget and allocates those funds to support arts education. Proposition 28 also requires that 80% of funding be used to hire new arts staff, and 30% of overall funding be directed to low-income schools. The passage of Prop 28 is a monumental victory for arts educators in California, who will now have nearly $1 billion in additional funding to increase access to arts education and bolster the number of arts educators in the state.


Colorado voters approved Proposition FF, which authorizes the “Healthy School Meals for All” program. This program will provide free school meals for all public school students in the state, fund increased wages for school employees, and provide assistance through technical assistance and education grants.


Massachusetts voters approved Question 1, which would provide additional education and transportation funds through an increased 4% state income tax on residents who make over $1 million. The increased tax on millionaires is expected to provide up to $1.2 billion in additional revenue, that would be used for public education, infrastructure repair, and public transportation.

New Mexico

New Mexico voters approved two education related ballot measures: Constitutional Amendment 1 and Bond Question 3. Constitutional Amendment 1 will amend the state’s constitution to allow for more revenue from the states land grant permanent fund to be used for early childhood education, increasing teacher pay, extending the school year, and instruction for historically underserved youth.

Bond Question 3 asked voters whether to approve $215 million in bonds from state property taxes to go towards improving colleges, universities, TCUs (Tribal Colleges and Universities), and other campuses.

West Virginia

Voters in West Virginia weighed in on Amendment 4, which if enacted, would have required the WV state legislature to approve policies of the state board of education prior to them being enacted. West Virginians struck down Amendment 4 in favor of the board of education maintaining their autonomy.

The 2022 mid-term elections have changed the congressional landscape. With the chambers of Congress split, we can expect to see bills require bipartisan support for them to succeed. As Congress reconvenes, our goal at NAfME is to influence the development of FY 2023 appropriations to increase funding for programs that support music education. Stay tuned for updates and other ways that you and your fellow music educators can be advocates for the profession!

November 30, 2022. © National Association for Music Education (NAfME.org)