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Poll finds education ranks among highest priority with Arizona voters

(AP Photo)

PHOENIX — A recent poll found that the topic of education ranks among one of the highest priorities with Arizona Voters, according to the non-profit organization Expect More Arizona.

Expect More Arizona President and CEO Pearl Chang Esau said education ranked higher among the 600 surveyed state voters than the economy or immigration.

“In the past, when we have polled Arizona’s likely voters, education has typically been either No. 2 or No. 3 on the list, ranking below other things like the economy and immigration,” she said.

Education came in at 41 percent with immigration/border security at 12 percent and the economy at 10 percent. Chang Esau said the survey also asked voters about the most important issues within the topic of education.

“We also asked them what they thought were the top two issues within education, and the No. 1 issue was the need for increasing education funding,” she said. “The No. 2 issue, which ranked high across all political parties, was increasing teacher pay.”

Chang Esau said 87 percent of Arizonans strongly believe funding for Career and Technical Education programs is an important priority, she said. Those programs help students receive real-world training while preparing them for the future.

“If you just look at the data for Career and Technical Education programs, they’re graduating students at far greater rates than our state average,” she said. “In fact, in the mid-90 (percent).”

“So what we’re seeing is that voters in Arizona believe that education is important for everybody’s quality of life,” Esau said.

The survey also found 85 percent of voters support efforts to close the achievement gap, 92 percent want to focus on ensuring students have access to “great” education officials and 81 percent thing schools should have additional funding to serve low-income students.

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