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Questions to Ask Candidates

This election year, there is a profound urgency to understand the short- and long-term implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on students, teachers and schools and to work together to find solutions that support the success of every student, every step of the way.

Reaching Arizona’s shared education goals will improve our state’s economic prosperity, civic health and individual quality of life. We need your help to ensure we have elected officials who are committed to supporting the dialogue, policies and resources required to get there.  Use our online platform to challenge your candidates with questions about education issues that matter most to you.

Learn about the issues and find out where candidates stand on the issues that matter to you. Consider asking these questions: 

Download a printable pdf file here.

Highlighted by the pandemic, numerous barriers to academic success disproportionately affect low-income students and students of color: access to the Internet and computers/devices, poverty, mobility issues, and transportation challenges, just to name a few. What are your strategies for tackling these longstanding inequities and other systemic barriers that inhibit low-income students and students of color from thriving, and prevent Arizona from meeting the goals of the Arizona Education Progress Meter? How will you identify and advocate for the resources needed to address equity?

Quality early learning is critical to early childhood development and kindergarten readiness, and has a positive impact on long-term educational and social outcomes for low-income students. A large number of small businesses providing quality programs have closed their doors due to COVID-19. How would you support these small businesses and connect more young children with safe, quality early learning?

Arizona’s economic future will be shaped by our ability to increase the proportion of people with training or education beyond a high school diploma, especially in growing communities of color and low-income populations. What ideas do you have to support Arizona community colleges and universities in maintaining safe, affordable and equitable access to their programs as they deal with unprecedented budget challenges due to the pandemic? What ideas do you have to increase state-sponsored financial aid to postsecondary education opportunities in order to ensure equitable access for low-income Arizonans and those of color?

Describe the ways in which you seek out diverse perspectives to inform your decisions on education bills and the budget. Do you meet with teachers, education leaders, parents or students from various backgrounds? What have you learned about educational inequity and systemic barriers to student success, and how will it influence your policy decisions moving forward?

Schools at all levels are faced with significant new health and safety challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. How will you identify and advocate for the resources needed to ensure healthy and safe schools, as well as those resources necessary to deliver high-quality education?

The social and emotional well-being of students influences their academic success. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased stress on families and students, and, for some, increased exposure to traumatic experiences outside of school – all of which impact students’ ability to learn. What is your plan to support wrap-around services to address the needs of the whole child?

There are many factors that impact teacher recruitment and retention, including working conditions such as adequate student support staff (counselors, nurses, interventionists, etc.), class size, professional development opportunities, pay, respect for the profession, and now health and safety during the pandemic. What ideas do you have for addressing these issues and ensuring we have a high-quality teacher in every classroom?