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Poll of likely Arizona voters puts education ahead of immigration

(AP File Photo)

PHOENIX – A poll of 600 likely voters in Arizona showed they believed education was the top issue facing the state and wanted more funding for teachers and students.

The results from a survey for education nonprofit Expect More Arizona were released Monday, but the poll was conducted nearly a month ago.

Education pulled in 40 percent of the respondent’s options from the Dec. 10-12 polling. Immigration and border issues followed with 29 percent and health care finished at 8 percent.

The margin of error was plus or minus 4 percent.

“I think education continues to be a top issue for Arizona voters because they really see the connection between education being a key to prosperity for individuals, communities and the state,” President and CEO Christine Thompson told KTAR News 92.3 FM. 

“A great education leads to not only a benefit to the individual, but it also leads to a more skilled talent pipeline, which in turn increases business and revenue to the state.”

The poll also asked participants to rate the importance of five funding issues for education.

They chose “improving the performance of lower-performing schools” ahead of increasing teacher salaries, more affordability and accessibility of state universities and colleges; funding for career and technical education and fewer students per classroom.

Thirty-five percent of polltakers said they would be most willing to pay more taxes to support pay increases for teachers.

In May 2018, Gov. Doug Ducey signed off on teacher raises after a weeklong series of educator protests at the Arizona Capitol that forced school closures because of staffing problems.

The bill approved a 20 percent pay increase by 2020 and an investment of nearly $140 million in schools.

Thompson said the organization plans to use the poll results in an effort to push state lawmakers to increase access to quality schooling for students.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Griselda Zetino contributed to this report. 

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