NEW POLL SHOWS VOTERS APPROVE OF REFORMING INVESTMENTS IN EDUCATION ACROSS PARTY LINES
A new public opinion poll of Arizona voters reveals a resounding dissatisfaction with the current state of leadership, particularly within the legislature and with Arizona’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Horne. The data sheds light on key issues facing education in the state and highlights a clear call for reform.
(PHOENIX) – Stand for Children Arizona conducted an annual poll of Arizona voters asking them to weigh in on key issues facing education in the state. The 2023 public opinion survey results reveal that a majority of Arizonans are concerned about the direction of the state and continue to think that there is a great need for additional funds for schools, giving the legislature poor grades when it comes to supporting our students.
State of Concern
Arizonans are dissatisfied with leadership and let down by the support they feel from elected officials when it comes to our children and their education.
- 57% of voters feel that Arizona is on the wrong track. This percentage is unchanged from last year.
- Favorability of Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Horne, has decreased since May, while his name ID has increased.
- 55% of Arizonans have an unfavorable opinion of the Republican-led state legislature.
- When asked to give a grade to the Arizona state legislature when it comes to helping our public schools, 56% of voters said “D/F.”
Demand for School Funding
There is a pressing need for increased public education funding and voters believe that the Arizona state legislature is failing by investing in wealthy corporations over our kids.
- 73% of voters think that there is a need for additional funds for Arizona’s public schools, with a majority believing that need is “great.”
- Even amidst rising costs and inflation, a majority of Arizonans believe that funding for public schools should increase.
- Arizona voters overwhelmingly believe that to address the projected $400 million budget shortfall, the state legislature should stop giving out tax breaks to large corporations and the wealthy instead of taking funds from schools.
- 62% of Arizonans, an increase of 8% over last year, would vote yes on a ballot measure to reform the expenditure limit on education to more adequately fund public schools.
Calls to Reform ESA Vouchers
Arizona’s Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) voucher program is failing our most vulnerable students and a majority of voters are calling for drastic changes.
- After hearing about the lack of safety measures, such as background checks for teachers, use on non-educational expenses, and lack of accreditation or transparency, a majority of Arizona voters oppose the ESA voucher program.
- 65% of Arizonans would vote yes on a ballot measure to reform the ESA voucher system by increasing oversight, financial transparency and accountability, and limiting the program to students in need.
Investing in our Children’s Futures
Across party lines, Arizonans are in support of investing in our state’s future through programs that directly impact our youngest learners.
- 73% of voters support establishing state funding for all-day Kindergarten in all Arizona public school districts and charters. 71% support the same establishment for pre-Kindergarten.
- 60% of voters support a permanent annual $350 per child tax rebate.
Connecting Families in Arizona’s Justice System
Prison telecom corporations charge families with incarcerated loved ones up to a dollar per minute for a phone call. Preying on families, these companies take in $1.4 billion annually and pay hundreds of millions in kickbacks to correctional agencies. As a result, 1-in-3 families with someone incarcerated falls into debt trying to stay connected.
- A majority, 58% of voters, support a proposal to make telephone communications between people inside and outside of prisons and jails free in Arizona.
Rebecca Gau, executive director of Stand for Children Arizona says about the poll results, “voters are clearly unhappy with how the legislature and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne have approached education and the state budget. From ESA vouchers to school funding, I am hopeful that state leaders will address the needs of kids and families and put kids before politics.”
The survey was conducted November 13-20, 2023, by Tulchin Research. Poll results are attached.
Click here to view detailed polling results.