Your Ballot Influences Quality Of Education, Life SanTan Sun News

Your Ballot Influences Quality Of Education, Life

October 7th, 2018 | by SanTan Sun News
Your Ballot Influences Quality Of Education, Life
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By Teri Kimble & Erin Eccleston

Guest Writers

Do you know how your vote impacts education?

Young or old, married or single, working or retired, the strength of our schools impacts us all.

Whether East Valley communities attract new companies to the area, grow entrepreneurship or improve overall quality of life, all depend largely on our education system. And because a community’s overall education levels are linked to everything from crime rates to healthcare spending, we should all take an active role in aiding schools and teachers.

Thankfully, the East Valley already has a wide variety of programs that are getting students on the path to long-term success. For instance, did you know that the Arizona Agribusiness and Equine Center recently opened a campus in Mesa where youth can work with animals and earn their associate’s degree while still in high school?

And for decades, the East Valley Institute of Technology has harnessed students’ passions for everything from culinary arts to automotive and building trades.

Chandler Unified School District is even offering a STEM diploma for students at Perry High School as a way to prepare graduates for work in high-demand fields.

Though many of us aren’t able to volunteer in a classroom or mentor a student, there are plenty of ways to support schools, and one is coming up quickly: the Nov. 6 general election. Your vote on everything from the top to the bottom of the ballot will matter to schools near and far.

You might already be aware that several East Valley school districts have bonds or overrides on the ballot. But do you know what a bond or override is and how the funds will be used?

Whether you vote yes or no on a bond or override will have an obvious effect on the schools in the district.

But do you know how the dozens of other votes you cast will impact local schools? For instance, the senators and representatives that we elect to represent the East Valley in the state legislature set policy that governs everything from school choice to how schools are evaluated.

As another example, when you’re making a choice for the local school board, keep in mind that this group is responsible for setting the curriculum for your district. They also are charged with hiring the superintendent and managing the district’s budget and property, among other things.

Partisan politics should not divide us on education.

Regardless of their party affiliation, do you know yet how your candidates feel about increasing early-learning opportunities or when they last visited a classroom? If not, ask!

Our schools and teachers need our support and our vote.

Before you fill out your ballot, visit ExpectMoreArizona.org/vote to find out who your candidates are and how to contact them. Learn more about the ballot propositions. Explore how your vote affects schools and more.

For more election resources, visit ExpectMoreArizona.org/vote or chandlerchamber.com.

Erin Eccleston lives in Chandler and is vice president of community engagement with Expect More Arizona, a statewide nonprofit, nonpartisan, education-advocacy organization. Terri Kimble is president/CEO of the Chandler Chamber of Commerce.

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