There are any number of reasons that you might not vote in the upcoming general election. If one reason is that you’re worried you don’t have time to evaluate the issues or sort through the candidates, we can help. Expect More Arizona can get you up-to-speed on education issues and provide opportunities to send questions directly to candidates.

Whether you’re planning to head to your polling location on Nov. 6 or vote early by mail, this article breaks down some of the issues, or you can learn more at ExpectMoreArizona.org/vote.

If your school district has a bond or override on the ballot, you might be wondering what a bond or override actually is, and why school districts need them. Here’s a quick overview, but you can learn more here.

  • Bonds: Bonds are most often used to fund new buildings and facility improvements, improved technology and school buses. Pending voter approval, the district will issue bonds for sale (typically by investors), which are repaid over a set timeframe.
  • Overrides: On the other hand, overrides are generally used to support what happens inside the classroom (teacher salaries and benefits, full-day kindergarten, furniture, etc.). If voters approve, districts increase their budget for a seven-year term.

Beyond bonds and overrides, the November ballot also includes a referendum with a direct impact on education:

  • Prop 305: During the most recent legislative session, Governor Ducey signed a law that would expand Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESAs) to any Arizona child. Families who take advantage of the program receive funds to use toward their child’s education in a setting other than a public school. What had previously been available to youth in failing schools, students with disabilities, children of military and other special circumstances, would be opened to any Arizona child. A yes vote will allow the law to take effect, while a no vote will block the law and keep the status quo of limited availability of ESAs.

Whether you’re casting a vote for governor or making your choice for a local school board member, your choices will have an impression on schools near and far. To get an idea of how state, regional and local candidates make their mark on schools, watch our video on how your vote impacts education.

Before you mark your ballot, get to know these candidates better. Expect More Arizona has compiled a variety of report cards for each, and ExpectMoreArizona.org/vote even features a candidate look-up and contact tool so that you can submit questions directly and find out where the candidates stand on the issues that are most important to you.

Expect More Arizona is a statewide nonprofit, nonpartisan education advocacy organization working to ensure every child receives an excellent education every step of the way. Vote 4 Education is Expect More Arizona’s annual voter engagement initiative, encouraging Arizona’s voters to make education their top priority. As a 501c3, Expect More Arizona does not endorse specific candidates or influence the outcomes of candidate elections. For more election resources, visit ExpectMoreArizona.org/vote.

 

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