The passage of Proposition 100 was a big victory for our schools, public safety and Arizona overall. Arizona voters sent a resounding message that supporting education is our priority, and that, when given a choice, we will “Vote 4 Education.” Your hard work and passion paid off at the polls, and I think we can all now breathe a sigh of relief and take a brief moment to celebrate… But, then it’s back to work.

In the last three fiscal years, Arizona’s education system suffered more than $1 billion in budget cuts. All the while, Arizona students continue to fall behind in academic performance, high school graduation rates and postsecondary degree attainment.   The monies brought in by Prop 100’s temporary sales tax will help reduce the need for even further cuts, but there is still more we must do to make Arizona’s education system a model of excellence, and to ensure our students and Arizona are positioned to compete both nationally and globally.

When you visit Expect More Arizona’s “Vote 4 Education” section, you’ll see 4 actions and 4 questions that relate to this year’s elections.  With a victory check next to voting “Yes on 100,” we must now shift our attention over the next five months to the candidates who are running for office at all levels.  The changes necessary to improve education in our state are not for the faint at heart or those with fleeting priorities.  We need leaders who are visionary and willing to do the work required to ensure our long-term success.  We must also protect the voter-approved early childhood health and development funds this November.

All of this means that education shouldn’t be just another issue in this year’s elections; it should be THE issue. Arizona’s candidates must know that in order to earn your vote they must have specific plans and strategies for how they will address the biggest issues affecting education in our state. They need to know they will be elected based on their support of education, and then held accountable for following through on their promises.

Once again, I salute Arizona for being a strong voice for education and share in celebrating the passage of Prop 100.   And now that we know our collective power, we ask you to come back and build on this momentum, so we can urge Arizonans to continue to “Vote 4 Education!”

Nicole Magnuson is the Executive Director of Expect More Arizona.

Paid for by Expect More Arizona – Vote 4 Education, No on 302 – Protect Early Childhood Health/Development Funds.  Major funding by Expect More Arizona, a fund of the Arizona Community  Foundation.  The Vote 4 Education campaign is funded in its entirety by Helios Education Foundation and the Arizona Community Foundation through Expect More Arizona and does not use public funds.