As the state rolls out a new school accountability system and a separate federal accountability system, disputes have flared between the state department and school board over which underperforming schools should get extra federal money.
Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who won his primary in a landslide, pledged to make sure districts are efficiently and effectively spending the money the state gives them.
The state has fought with the federal government and civil rights activists over how it holds schools accountable for some groups of students. Florida is the only state still without a federally approved plan.
Republican Diane Douglas originally ran on a platform of getting rid of the state's common core standards, but ended up in a legally fraught relationship with the state's board of education.
The ruling last week blocking a ballot measure that would have pumped $690 million more into schools has lit a match under an already combustible midterm election.
Tony Thurmond and Marshall Tuck differed sharply on issues such as how to improve teacher quality and how to get more money for California's schools.
Republican and Democratic candidates for governor in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and elsewhere are clashing over how (or whether) to shore up school districts' budgets.
John Ekblad, a high school teacher in Minnesota, had sued his school district and later claimed that discipline guidance under President Barack Obama left teachers vulnerable to unsafe conditions.
Democrats for Education Reform, which advocates for school choice and stringent school accountability policies, has had a difficult time pushing its agenda with traditional Democratic forces.
The state's 33-year-old funding formula hasn't kept pace with dramatic population shifts, leaving some school districts with money to spare and others falling short.