"I'm running because I'm not happy with the state of education," said veteran educator Kevin Leineweber, who is one of several teachers running for the state's legislature this year.
October 2018 Archives
States have typically left it to communities to pay for upgraded school facilities, and this year's horrific school shootings have sparked spending measures aimed at "hardening" school buildings.
In Oregon, the release of the state's school report card has turned into a political sore spot for incumbent Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, who is running for re-election.
Some candidates want to arm teachers while others want to tighten gun control laws. Meanwhile, student activists are making their voices heard on school security.
Education Week reporters Daarel Burnette and Kavitha Cardoza walk you through some of the school funding issues and debates dominating key campaigns.
According to an Education Week analysis, more than 100 teachers are in the running this year for a state legislative seat and they're campaigning to increase school funding.
Teachers have argued that the state needs a new revenue source for schools but the state's supreme court said a ballot question they backed was confusing and vague.
The Democratic candidate, Israel Romero, withdrew from the race just a few weeks before South Carolina voters decide whether to make the elected position of state schools chief an appointed one.
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.