Election season has come and gone. No matter which candidate you supported, there is one thing that all of us can celebrate; a break from endless campaign commercials! Another thing that Arizonans can celebrate is the number of bonds and overrides that have passed across the state in support of our schools. It is so easy to fall into a pit of despair because your candidate may have not won or maybe one of the propositions you were hoping for failed. As an educator, I am making a choice to celebrate the victories we had around the state and to revel in the outcomes that we won. I also want to thank the voters for their support and believing in the work we do in Arizona.
Treva Jenkins has already shared that this was the first override after 6 failed attempts in her district in her November blog. Lake Havasu has also had a huge success as their override passed by a razor thin margin. Overrides also passed in Avondale, Tolleson, Liberty, and Buckeye. According to West Valley Views, one of the only measures close to failing in Phoenix’s West Valley was Western Maricopa Education Center which offers career and technical education programs to high school students and adults.
“To see the public have such an influx of support, and especially for West-MEC, doing career and technical education — generally, that’s something the public supports, but I know there was a lot on the ballots this year with overrides and bonds, so we were really excited to see such an overwhelming support for education in general,” said Brittany Lucero, a spokeswoman for West-MEC.
These are all examples of how Arizona voters are supporting public education and for that I am extremely thankful!
Back in 2000, voters approved Prop 301 which raised sales tax by .6% and required the state to maintain inflation increases. In 2010, voters approved a 1 cent sales tax increase for three years to boost funds for education. When the recession hit and state revenue plummeted, the legislature reallocated those funds to other purposes. The State Supreme Court ordered the state to comply in a lawsuit. After years of appeals, Prop 123 was written which intended to use money from the state land trust to improve schools. Prop 123 passed by a small margin of less than 20,000 votes. Even though that’s a small margin, it illustrates that the majority of voters support our schools.
As we move into 2017, I will keep my head up and be confident in the fact that if we are transparent and open with voters and continue to educate them on the issues that we face, they will come out in full support of our schools. Thank you, Arizona!
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