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MADISON – Last week, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes took part in The Hunt Institute’s Hunt-Kean Leadership Fellows program, the nation’s premier education policy fellowship, in Washington, D.C. The program brought together a group of bipartisan state leaders who will examine state-level education policy over the next nine months.
Lt. Gov. Barnes joined a network of 90 Fellows over five cohorts and was one of 23 high-ranking state leaders who began the program Dec. 11-13 in the nation’s capital.
“It was an honor to be invited to be part of the Hunt-Kean Leadership Fellows program and have the opportunity to engage in meaningful conversation about education policy,” Lt. Gov. Barnes said. “As a staunch advocate for our public schools, I look forward to learning how to better craft policies that not only support our public schools but the health and well-being of children and families. More children will succeed in the classroom when we achieve economic justice and have access to things like health care, housing, and transportation.”
During their time together in D.C., Cohort 6 Fellows explored the importance of K-12 standards and assessments, school funding, early learning, and effective teachers and school leaders along with some of the nation’s leading experts in education, policy, and politics. Fellows also participated in a local school visit to Thurgood Marshall Academy.
Along with Lt. Gov. Barnes, the 2019-20 Hunt-Kean Leadership Fellows also included:
- Delegate Lashrecse Aird (D-VA)
- State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler (R-ND)
- State Sen. Deanna Ballard (R-NC)
- State Superintendent Jillian Balow (R-WY)
- State Sen. Regina Barrow (D-LA)
- Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz (D-CT)
- Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan (R-GA)
- Board of Regents Fred DuVal (D-AZ)
- Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette (R-SC)
- State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick (R-MO)
- Lt. Gov. Mike Foley (R-NE)
- Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist (D-MI)
- Attorney General Gurbir Grewal (D-NJ)
- State Rep. Ken King (R-TX)
- State Sen. Dave Lent (R-ID)
- State Treasurer Fiona Ma (D-CA)
- Lt. Gov. Howie Morales (D-NM)
- Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell (R-OK)
- State Sen. Patricia Rucker (R-WV)
- Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton (D-IL)
- Fmr. State Senator Billie Sutton (D-SD)
- State Sen. Max Wise (R-KY)
“Launching the next group of Hunt-Kean Leadership Fellows is always motivating as we welcome a new group of influential state leaders who are determined to challenge the status quo in education,” Dr. Javaid Siddiqi, The Hunt Institute’s President & CEO, said.
Unique to this program, Fellows had access to The Hunt Institute’s bipartisan network of former governors who have established reputations for working across the aisle and improving public education. The governors who joined the Fellows during the program included Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ); Gov. Jim Douglas (R-VT); Gov. James B. Hunt, Jr. (D-NC); Gov. Tom Kean (R-NJ); Gov. Martin O’Malley (D-MD); and Gov. Bob Wise (D-WV).
Counted among Fellow Alumni are Gov. Kate Brown of Oregon, Gov. Kim Reynolds of Iowa, Gov. Brad Little of Idaho, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, Gov.-Elect Tate Reeves of Mississippi and U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada. Five Fellows are currently running for governor – Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox (UT-Cohort 1), Attorney General Tim Fox (MT-Cohort 5), Attorney General Mark Herring (VA-Cohort 1) and Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin (AK-Cohort 3).
“We are looking forward to continuing working with our sixth cohort of Fellows – a group of leaders who share the goal of improving education through thoughtful policy,” Gov. Hunt, the program’s co-founder, said. “If we expect our education systems to improve, we must be strategic and bold in our actions.”