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Press Release

Tuesday’s Winner: School Choice

On Tuesday, voters took to the polls to elect or re-elect lawmakers across the country. While many races have yet to be finalized, one thing is already clear – parents and students were the real winners tonight.

Overwhelmingly, candidates who support school choice and educational freedom have prevailed.

In total, during the 2022 election cycle, AFC, AFC Action Fund, and its affiliated state political committees and state allies spent over $9 million, and supported nearly 200 candidates in the general election cycle alone. We will continue to represent the interests of parents and students as legislators head to state capitols next year.

Statement from Tommy Schultz, CEO of the American Federation for Children:
“Voters made 2022 a sonic boom for school choice. After years of the system’s failure during the pandemic and devastating learning loss unfolding since, it’s no surprise that more parents than ever stood up and said enough is enough. The promise of educational freedom offers hope to millions of families, and this election set the table for what should be one of the most opportune legislative sessions for school choice ever. We congratulate all the school choice champions who were victorious on Tuesday and stand ready to work together to deliver on that promise of educational opportunity to families and children across America.”

State-Specific Highlights: 

  • Longtime school choice champion Governor Ron DeSantis (FL) notched a stunning 19-point victory over his Democratic opponent Charlie Crist, who ran alongside a teachers’ union leader who had sued to stop Florida’s popular school choice programs.
  • Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt (R), who has championed school choice in his time in office, prevailed over his opponent, whose allies had launched an unprecedented onslaught of tens of millions of dollars attacking the Governor with lies about education freedom. Likewise, school choice supporter Ryan Walters won his race for Oklahoma State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
  • Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D) is set to enter the Governor’s mansion after a campaign in which he came out in support of school choice and defended the idea on the campaign trail despite criticism.
  • Illinois Governor J.D. Pritzker (D) prevailed after offering late-in-the-race support for the state’s scholarship tax credit program.
  • Nebraska’s Jim Pillen (R) is projected to become Governor, beating Sen. Carol Blood (D), a longtime school choice opponent in the legislature.
  • Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds (R), who championed school choice in the legislature and at the ballot box this year, easily won re-election and will continue fighting for children.
  • Tennessee Governor Bill Lee (R), a stalwart champion of school choice, handily won re-election, using part of his election-night speech to call for funding students, not systems.


What does this mean? 

School choice is a winning issue. Not only do the polls show overwhelming public support for school choice policies, but that support is increasingly translating to results at the ballot box as well.


Note: This post will be updated as results come in


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