A group called “Expect More Arizona” conducted a poll and found that the public is willing to pay higher taxes for better schools. Arizona is currently overrun with charter schools, most of dubious quality. Choice has left most children behind.

 

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.