DECEMBER 2016 SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS

A survey conducted in mid-December on behalf of Expect More Arizona affirms that education is still the most pressing issue on the minds of Arizona voters, above immigration and the economy.

When asked to name specific concerns related to education, lack of funding and teacher pay/teacher shortage rose to the top. In fact, when asked what issue, if any, voters would be willing to pay more in taxes to support, higher teacher pay was the top issue across all political parties.

The poll also showed strong support for the renewal of Prop 301, a voter initiative passed in 2000 that provides a six-tenths of one cent sales tax for public education, resulting in more than $650 million in revenue each year. Additionally, voters surveyed support possibly increasing the associated sales tax rate in order to fund teacher pay or K-3 literacy programs.

Other notable results from the survey of likely Arizona voters show:

  • Finding a long-term solution for education funding is rated as a top education priority by 84 percent of likely Arizona voters, regardless of their age, party affiliation, ethnicity, economic status, or geographic location.
  • Ninety-five (95) percent of voters believe it is important to provide schools the funding they need to attract and retain great teachers with 76 percent agreeing Arizona is facing a teacher shortage crisis.
  • An overwhelming majority agree that Arizona must ensure all students receive the support needed to read proficiently by the end of 3rd grade (95%).
  • Voters agree all students deserve a great education (96%) and that education impacts the strength of our communities (95%).
  • Eighty percent agree that increasing the number of people who graduate from the state’s public community colleges and universities will help improve the state’s economy and 75 percent of voters also agree that community colleges and universities should receive additional funding.

For more detailed poll results, click here.

MEASURING PROGRESS

While these and other poll results clearly show what Arizona voters care most about, the state also has a meaningful tool to better understand where we stand on these and other key education metrics. In early 2016, Expect More Arizona and the Center for the Future of Arizona collaborated to elevate a set of widely accepted indicators by which Arizonans can measure our state’s progress, celebrate successes and take action together. The Arizona Education Progress Meter includes indicators that start with the early years and continue through each important milestone leading up to graduating high school and achieving career training or a degree.

To see where we stand, click here.

EXPECT MORE ARIZONA’S 2017 GOALS

With an understanding of where we stand today and where we need to go, Expect More Arizona will call on its growing network of individuals and organizations to work together to move the following priorities forward this year:

  • A long-term solution to increase education funding from the early years through college and career, with a focus on equity and excellence in results; including the update and renewal of Prop 301.
  • Improving teacher recruitment and retention, to include supporting new funding for teacher pay and working with our partners statewide to set a long-term goal for increased teacher pay.
  • Supporting early literacy and third-grade reading proficiency for all students, including improvements to Move On When Reading and advocating for new funding for evidence-based interventions.
  • Ensuring high expectations that support excellence for all, including the revision of the A-F accountability system to be a better measure of the contributions of teachers and schools to student achievement.
  • Building greater awareness of the connection between postsecondary attainment (training or education beyond a high school diploma) and strong economy and community.
  • Supporting investments in Arizona’s community colleges and movement toward funding 50 percent of the cost to educate resident students at state universities.

For Expect More Arizona’s complete 2017 advocacy agenda, click here.

EVERYONE HAS A ROLE TO PLAY. TAKE ACTION TODAY.

Every Arizonan has a role to play to ensure all children receive an excellent education, every step of the way. The path to excellence requires students who are motivated and ready to learn, involved parents, trained and committed educators, informed voters, an engaged business and philanthropic community, and capable and supportive elected officials.

Using the tool below, take the first step by sending a quick message to your elected leaders to encourage them to make education their top priority in 2017.