Pearl Chang Esau
Election season is back and, along with it, the opportunity to encourage candidates and voters to make education a top priority. Vote 4 Education is Expect More Arizona’s annual initiative that asks Arizonans to make education a priority when they vote. The non-partisan, statewide campaign is a part of Expect More Arizona’s advocacy efforts to build a world-class education in Arizona.
As you consider your votes this year, remember that Arizona’s long-term economic prosperity and our individual quality of life depend on our investments in education today. In fact, if half of Arizona’s 2010 dropouts had graduated with their class, by the midpoint of their careers they would have generated 700 new jobs, $357 million more in increased home sales, and $14 million in increased annual auto sales.
This year, a number of school districts and community colleges are asking for your support on bonds and overrides. That is why it is so important to understand the nuances of bonds and override elections, what they mean, and how they can support schools and communities.
Over the past few years, our schools and colleges have weathered significant funding cuts, and that’s on top of some of the lowest per-pupil investments of any state in the country. Bonds and overrides provide local funding for local schools and community colleges and in many cases, they are used to make up for gaps in funding from state and federal sources to ensure that schools and colleges are able to provide a world-class education.
Each votes counts, bond and override elections are often decided by a very small margin of votes. Your vote could determine whether your local schools and community colleges have the resources they need this year.
Expect More Arizona encourages people to learn more about bonds and overrides and find out if there’s a bond or override in your community election. Talk to your school, visit your school district’s website, visit your community college’s website.
Pearl Chang Esau is president & CEO of Expect More Arizona.
(Expect More Arizona will hold a Twitter Town Hall between noon and 1 p.m. Thursday, to be led by a panel of experts discussing what this year’s election means and the impact votes could have on schools, communities and families. In addition to bonds and overrides, the town hall panel will discuss the role education plays in Arizona’s economy and in each individual’s quality of life. Follow the conversation at ExpectMoreArizona.org/TownHall and on Twitter using the hashtag #Vote4EdAZ.)