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2016 Candidate Interview State Board of Education President John Austin

m1-realty-topJim Ellison Candidate ad TOP2016 Candidate Interview State Board of Education President John Austinlevel_one_ad01

(Crystal A. Proxmire, Oct. 29, 2016)


Ann Arbor, MI – President of the State Board of Education John Austin is running for re-election on the Nov. 8 ballot.  There are two seats available, and the following people are running: Tom McMillin (R), Nikki Snyder (R), Ish Ahmed (D), John Austin (D), Scotty Boman (L), Bill Hall(L), Karen Adams (U), Douglas Levesque (U), Derek M. Grigsby (G), Sherry A. Wells (G) and Mary Anne Hering (W).

Austin has an extensive background of advocacy experience in politics and education, and does economic policy work for Brookings Institution.

When asked why people should vote for him, Austin said “I am the one who has led and continues to lead our effort to build support for great public education, to put higher education within reach, who is committed to make education work for all of baby modern natural 01 adour people whatever geography or ZIP Code your schools in, your skin color, whatever country of origin, whatever gender identity, your sexual orientation.

“I’m sorry to say that the Republicans that they nominate are anti-standards, would bring a horrible political agenda into our classroom, bring back intelligent design and creationism.  We passed science standards last year that teach climate change as modern science, they would walk that back. They certainly aren’t supportive or sensitive of our diverse school populations, whether its kids of color or immigrants, or LGBT young people, they don’t want to acknowledge them or really support all of our people to get a great education, which is what Michigan should be about.”

In his interview with oc115, Austin talked about accomplishments while serving on the board including setting standards for education across the state, supporting LGBT students and students of diverse backgrounds, and increasing access to early childhood learning.  He talked about what power the Board has and the challenges of making recommendations while there is a Republican legislature in place. He also talked about the potential for handing over the President role to the current Vice President Cassandra Ulbrich.

Check out our Elections Section  for other candidate interviews, or use the search bar at the top to find stories for your community.garden16_Jack Lessenberry

All candidates are invited to do an interview and we are doing our best to connect.  If you are a candidate that needs information, please email us at

This post will be updated with the links to the interviews of other candidates as they become available.

The oc115 is a nonpartisan news source and interviews are done to help voters get to meet their candidates. We do not endorse any candidates, and statements made in candidate interviews are not fact-checked, though if we know of any errors we will include them in our story.

If you support independent journalism and local news coverage, please consider donating towards oc115 operating expenses at Also help spread the word about by sharing posts that you think are valuable, such as this one.

Learn more about this candidate’s campaign at

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