Another election has come and gone, and now the signs will come down, commercial advertising will return to peddling fast food and useless gadgets, and our newly elected and returning officials will begin setting agendas for the coming term. Hopefully, you cast your own “vote 4 education” and are prepared to hold those in office accountable to promises they made on the campaign trail this year.

Before we move forward, I’d like to take a moment to celebrate what has been accomplished during this election season.  First of all, congratulations to everyone who worked on the defeat of Proposition 302.  From pro-education advocacy groups and businesses to educators and parent groups, Arizona rallied to show investing in our youngest children is still our priority.

The foundation for the defeat of Proposition 302 was laid in May as Arizona voters, once again, raised their voices in support of education with the passage of Proposition 100, the temporary tax to support primary and secondary education.  In the community, people recognize that the “Yes on 100” effort brought together groups of differing parties and opinions in a way that no other proposition had in the past.

As you know, this was the inaugural year for the “Vote 4 Education” campaign, so it is imperative that our leaders – from local leaders to state and federal leaders – understand that when we pledged to hold them accountable for their promises on supporting education, we meant business.   At Expect More Arizona, we are committed to continuing to collaborate and build that network of advocates who can rally in support of education over the coming year as budget and policy decisions that impact education are made by those chosen to lead our state.

I think there can be no question that most Arizona voters expect more for education; now we need to make sure our political leaders respect and reflect our high expectations. That means you must follow how our leaders vote, even in an off-election year.  We must continually remind them that Arizonans do, in fact, want them to gauge each decision based on whether or not it’s good for education and our kids.  After all, if it improves the quality of our education system, it improves our economic future and quality of life.

While many of the most important decisions that impact the future of education in Arizona will be made by those who prevailed in the election, it is critical for all of us to embrace our role in improving education in our state.   We’ve been thrilled with the commitment of Arizona’s business community, parents, educators, community leaders, and Arizonans, like you, from all regions of the state have made to advance the movement for education. For some ideas on how you can help, visit the “Get Involved” page on our web site. And, be on the lookout in the coming year for new and exciting campaigns from Expect More Arizona that will challenge each of us to do our part to help Arizona’s students graduate high school prepared to succeed in college and career.

Finally, thanks to everyone who has joined the Expect More Arizona movement for your passion and dedication.  Special thanks to everyone who walked and hosted presentations on behalf of “Vote 4 Education.”   If you haven’t already, stay informed and connected to Expect More Arizona on Facebook and Twitter too!    We look forward to working with you make education Arizona’s top priority.

Nicole Magnuson is the Executive Director of Expect More Arizona.