Most want more education funding now, and are willing to pay more taxes to get it
PHOENIX (December 21) – The results are clear. In a new poll, conducted in December by Stand for Children Arizona, voters say they want more funding to improve education in the classroom.
Respondents said education is their biggest priority, exceeding concerns regarding illegal immigration by nearly a 3 to 1 margin. 77% said the state should be spending more on public schools.
65% of those polled also said they would be willing to vote for an increase to Arizona’s current Proposition 301 sales tax to a full penny. That would bring an additional $400 million to Arizona that could go directly to classrooms for teacher pay and targeted reading interventions, as well as provide tuition assistance for college students.
Currently, Arizona ranks 48th in the country in terms of per-pupil spending, our teachers are some of the lowest paid, and 60% of all Arizona 3rd graders can’t read at grade level. Passage of a funding measure, such as the one proposed above, would continue the momentum gained after Proposition 123, and would only get AZ closer to replacing the money taken from public schools in the Great Recession budget cuts.
“The poll results not only show that Arizona voters overwhelmingly recognize our schools need more funding in order to attract and retain teachers, help students learn to read, and help students with special needs, but also that they are willing to back a solution. But I want to be clear, this isn't just money for money's sake. 69% of those polled want both accountability and increased education funding,” said Rebecca Gau, Stand for Children Arizona Executive Director.
Rebecca Gau is available for interviews upon request. To arrange a time, call Pat McReynolds at 757-846-5732.