Stand for Children Arizona Annual Survey
A RESOUNDING SUPPORT FOR ADDITIONAL EDUCATION FUNDING: POST-ELECTION, ARIZONANS STILL WANT MORE FUNDS FOR SCHOOLS
New public opinion poll shows emphatic support for additional education funding and unmistakable opposition to any attempt to repeal Prop 208 – Invest in Ed. COVID-19 marked as the most important issue for Arizonans. Sharp disapproval of Ducey and Legislature’s job on the pandemic. And strong show of support for discipline reform in schools.
A new public opinion poll released this month by Stand Arizona reveals a large majority of Arizonans desire to continue restoring funds to teachers and schools in order to compete with education funding in other states. Last month, Arizona voters passed Proposition 208, the “Invest in Ed” initiative, which will raise almost a billion dollars a year for public education. The poll shows that despite passing Prop 208, more than seven in ten Arizonans still believe there is a need for additional funding for public schools.
The poll is Stand AZ's Annual Survey for 2020. The survey was conducted in December 2020 by Moore Information Group. Key findings from this years’ poll include:
- 72% of Arizona voters believe there is a need for additional funds for Arizona public schools.
- 57% are more likely to support additional funding for Arizona schools when voters learn that Arizona will still rank in the bottom five states in the nation for education funding, despite the revenues generated by Prop 208.
- "Funding” and “teacher pay” continue to top the list of voters’ concerns about Arizona schools when asked for top-of-mind responses.
- Efforts to cut taxes in other areas to offset the income tax surcharges imposed by Prop 208 find little support – 40% support, 39% oppose; Opposition increases significantly when voters are informed that funding for education could also be reduced (58% opposed).
- A possible effort to repeal Prop 208 meets with plurality opposition today, whether through the courts or legislative action.
- COVID dominates voters’ top of mind concerns today. Education is the second leading concern. Prior to the COVID pandemic, education had topped the list consistently since 2014.
Rebecca Gau, Executive Director of Stand for Children Arizona, highlights the implications of the poll results, “The pandemic has given all of us an opportunity to reflect on how important our commitment to students and teachers should be.” “Arizonans have spoken and will not give in to any attempts to cut funding to our schools. In fact, voters feel quite the opposite.” Gau says that there will be new efforts to restore education funding as well as to address racial equity issues in schools.
The poll also gives insight into the majority support for discipline policy reform in Arizona schools. 56% of people responded that they would support reforms to the use of zero-tolerance policies like out-of-school suspension or even expulsion to discipline students as young as pre-school age.
Gau commented on the importance of focusing on education equity by supporting reforms to discipline policies,
“We must work together to ensure minority students are not underserved, over-punished, and barred from academically rigorous educational options.”
The poll also shows dwindling overall support for Governor Doug Ducey and an immense dissatisfaction from Arizonans with the Governor’s job performance in handling COVID – a 58% total disapproval.
In 2021, Stand Arizona will be partnering with others, training parents, and championing reforms to protect education funding and grow equity in education.
To see the full survey results, click here.