How to make your voice heard on critical education issues
It can be easy to become discouraged about the political process and our system of government, especially after one of the most divisive presidential elections in recent memory. But it’s more important now than ever to become actively involved on behalf of the issues that make a difference.
For instance, education is something that impacts all Arizona residents, whether they have school-aged children, or not. Strong classrooms are the key to strong communities. Education impacts our economy and overall quality of life – everything from property values, to crime rates, to health care costs. For example, according to a 2014 report, it’s estimated that the 18,000+ Arizona students who dropped out of high school that year will produce $7.6 billion less economic activity over their lifetimes than if those same students had graduated. This dollar figure includes lost earnings, increased health care and crime-related costs, lost economic productivity and lost tax revenue.
There are thousands of teachers all over Arizona working hard to shape the next generation and prepare students for life and a career. But they can’t do it alone. You can be an advocate for education in your own home every day, but you can also lend your voice to education policies that have an impact in your community and statewide.
For instance, do you know how your vote impacts education? Arizona’s governor and state legislators certainly make important decisions related to education funding and policy – but local school board members and county and state superintendents also play a huge role. You can learn more about what they do here.
If you want to impact how local schools are run, attend a school board meeting. Local school boards make decisions about things such as curriculum, budgets, discipline procedures and more. Learn about the education issues you care about and let your board members know what you think.
And now that the state legislature is in session, there could be bills under consideration that you would want to oppose or lend your support to. Of course, you can always contact your representatives directly, but you can also share your feedback with all legislators via the state’s Request to Speak system. You don’t actually have to come down to the state capitol to speak in-person, so don’t let the name deter you. Learn more about how to make your voice heard here.
Arizona’s teachers and students are counting on you. There are so many opportunities to make your opinion known. Use your voice to ensure every child receives an excellent education, every step of the way.
Expect More Arizona is a statewide nonprofit, nonpartisan education advocacy organization working to build a movement of Arizonans in support of world-class education for every child. For more information visit ExpectMoreArizona.org.