Arizona legislators react to poll results on Education Funding
By Kim Martinez, AFC National Correspondent
A new poll on Arizona’s top education issues is giving Gov. Doug Ducey and state legislators guidance on what voters would like to see when it comes to K-12 education funding.
The poll results released over the last two weeks show strong support among likely voters for increased funding, more accountability and parental choice.
A sample of likely voters (500) were polled in mid-October by Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research.
When asked about school choice defined in the survey as “giving parents the right to use tax dollars associated with their child’s K-12 education” to send their child to the school of their choice including private school, 63 percent of those polled were in favor.
The demographic breakdown provided by the pollster shows significant school choice support across political parties, education levels and Hispanics.
“The findings in this poll reflect that school choice is not a partisan or political issue, and communities across Arizona want more options in deciding how their children are educated,” Said Sen. Carlyle Begay, D-LD7. “The results prove that people are willing to support whatever works best for Arizona’s children and that’s the consistent message we see here from the democrats, republicans, minorities, men and women who were all polled.”
Poll results also show that people support the education plan proposed by Gov. Ducey and legislative leadership, which uses some funds from the State Land Trust. The Arizona legislature passed the education-funding proposal on Friday during a special legislative session.
Overall the data shows that Arizonans want increased education funding but they also want to see results and better performance from schools. Voters also support school choice and parental empowerment programs regardless of which demographic the voter fits.
“When I talk to my constituents, they support quality education and they want the freedom to choose the best school and environment for their children, whether that is a district, charter, private or online school,” says Rep. Debbie Lesko, R-LD21. “Parents and taxpayers want good academic results and they want their money spent wisely.”
“If you look at the results, half of the Democrats polled supported school choice as a concept,” added Begay. “That was unthinkable only a few years ago so it’s very apparent that things are shifting and parents want options when it comes to their child’s K-12 education.”
Click to read the memo from pollster with a detailed explanation of the results.