Despite Growing Healthcare and Economic Concerns, Education Remains Top Priority Among Arizona Voters
Education remains the number one issue among Arizona voters for the sixth consecutive year, according to a recent poll of 600 likely voters. The survey was conducted Dec. 8-12, 2020 by HighGround, Inc. on behalf of Expect More Arizona.
Education issues (28%) topped Healthcare (18%) and Jobs/Economy (16%) as the top issue facing our state, even among those respondents without children under 18 living at home. The same question in last year’s poll saw Education (42%) top Border Issues/Illegal Immigration (25%) and Healthcare (10%).
When asked specifically to identify the top issue facing education in Arizona, a general lack of funding for schools topped the list (26%), followed by teacher pay and support for teachers (17%). And, not surprisingly, voters have a lot of concerns related to remote learning and a desire to get students back into classrooms (16%).
Voters agree that the opportunity gaps some students face outside of school often impact their success in the classroom. Knowing that the changes to education delivery over the last nine months have disproportionately impacted some students more than others, Arizonans appreciate the urgency in closing these gaps.
Underscoring the continued need for additional resources in education, 66% of voters surveyed believe K-12 funding in the state is too low. Only 29% of voters surveyed agree that schools will have enough funding as a result of Proposition 208 (the Invest in Education Act).
Further, a significant majority of voters (79%) believe the salaries teachers receive in Arizona is too low. This support is evident across party lines (64% Rep, 96% Dem, 86% PND, 72% Ind).
Asked what they would do if they had additional money to spend on education in Arizona, voters again prioritized increasing pay for teachers (28%). Increasing funding to improve lower performing schools (16%) and funding for student support services (15%) rounded out the top three. Voters also overwhelmingly agree that access to quality early learning opportunities sets a child up for future success in school.
The start of the 2021 Arizona legislative session is right around the corner. Expect More Arizona will continue to provide timely, accurate, nonpartisan information about what’s happening in education at every level so you can stay engaged in the conversation. We’ll also provide opportunities for you to take action on issues that align with our 2021 advocacy agenda.