Election-Day Victories for Higher Ed

Last night’s most disappointing election result probably occurred in Maine, where a majority of the state’s voters were apparently convinced that if they continued to allow gay marriage in their state, newly married gay couples would break into their houses wielding a fearsome arsenal of gay weaponry and would forcibly dissolve their straight marriages. Or something.

But at least there was some good news on the higher education front. Inside Higher Ed sums it up:

* Voters in Texas strongly endorsed a constitutional amendment that will create a $500 million fund designed to help turn seven institutions in the state into top tier research universities.

* Voters in Maine soundly rejected a ballot question that would have severely restricted state spending, including on higher education. Based on early results, voters in Washington State appeared headed to do the same, according to local news reports.

* Based on unofficial results, voters in Oregon’s Deschutes County appeared to have approved a $41 million bond issue for Central Oregon Community College, while those in Monroe County, Pa., were projected late last night to have rejected a referendum to raise $31 million to pay for half the costs of a new campus of neighboring Northampton County Area Community College.

As for Maine’s rejection of gay marriage, all I can say is that while last night is very unfortunate for many of that state’s citizens, when you look at the age breakdown in polling on same-sex marriage it becomes clear that this is one example of bigotry that will soon fall by the wayside on its own.

Jesse Singal

Jesse Singal is a former opinion writer for The Boston Globe and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. He is currently a master's student at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Policy. Follow him on Twitter at @jessesingal.