The results of a recent survey published in The Arizona Republic showed that almost 75 percent of Arizona voters who participated believe there isn’t enough money going K-12 public and charter school students. And 100 percent of House Democrats agree.
The findings were similar to a 2015 poll conducted by the Morrison Institute for Public Policy and ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, which showed about 74 percent of Arizonans believe that the state is spending too little on K-12 education. Arizona continues to rank near the bottom nationally for public school student spending and an official from the Arizona Department of Education recently said Prop. 123 money won’t be enough to boost the state’s standing.
We still need a comprehensive plan for ensuring our schools get the resources necessary to prepare Arizona kids for college, the job force and the modern economy. Republican leaders promised voters that Prop. 123 would be a first step, but they’ve neglected to show leadership in doing anything else for schools. AZ Schools Now, a growing coalition of education and community groups, has come forward with a long-term, sustainable revenue plan for education that will focus on three key areas:
- Restoring funding for classroom supplies, updated technology and textbooks. This would require restoring district additional assistance.
- Sustaining a workforce of quality, certified and caring teachers in the classroom by investing in competitive salaries and professional development.
- Restoring capital funding to give our students schools and classrooms that are safe, clean and functional places to learn.
This is the kind of leadership that will help secure a better future for Arizona students and for the state’s economy. House Democrats will continue to champion public education. We will work with those willing to do more for our schools. This will remain a priority until students receive the resources needed to ensure they get a quality education.