Expect More Arizona, Community Partners Launch "Vote 4 Education" Campaign
Posted on: April 28, 2010
Helios Education Foundation's President and CEO, Paul Luna, who is also Chairman of Expect More Arizona, joined business and community leaders and education advocates in Phoenix, Arizona to launch the "Vote 4 Education" campaign. This statewide, grassroots campaign is geared toward motivating voters to make education their "hot button issue" throughout the election season.
Vote 4 Education is prompted by growing concern among community leaders and citizens that education is not valued as highly as it should by elected officials, and that sentiment is supported by the results of a statewide voter poll commissioned by Expect More Arizona and conducted by Lake Research, a national polling firm.
The survey found a plurality of Arizonans are "greatly concerned" about education in Arizona and view its quality as declining, not improving. In fact, most felt Arizona's education system is worse than others across the nation and the globe, that expectations for academic success are too low, and that elected officials are not doing enough to make the situation better.
"As business leaders, we view a high quality education system as the key to an economically prosperous Arizona," commented Phil Francis, president/CEO of PetSmart. "Our ability to grow and diversify business in across our state as well as attract new high-wage jobs depends on a better educated workforce."
Mimicking a political campaign, "Vote 4 Education" will engage community leaders and promote the importance of education as a hot button issue throughout the election season. Additionally, public awareness materials such as social media buttons, door hangers, posters, flyers and campaign signs touting "Are They 4 Education?" and "Vote 4 Education" will be displayed alongside campaign sign farms statewide. A special voter section on ExpectMoreArizona.org will be the central portal to information about the election year, resources to stay informed this election season and "Vote 4 Education" materials.
"As key policy and budget decisions continue to be made at a state level that impact education, it is more important than ever before to make education a key factor in every vote," said Michael Bidwill, president of the Arizona Cardinals. "Arizona's economic future depends on a quality education system and we must elect leaders who will make it their priority."
The Phoenix, Arizona launch is one of four events taking place across the state. Each each event, business and community leaders, acting as Expect More Arizona's candidates, are speaking out about the importance of education as a priority for all Arizonans, particularly when casting ballots for propositions, school-related special elections or candidates for public office.
Although Expect More Arizona will not endorse candidates for office through its "Vote 4 Education" effort; it will urge Arizonans to ask 4 key questions when selecting candidates:
- Is education one of their top two priorities?
- Do they have a clear plan with specific strategies for how they will address the biggest issues affecting education in our state?
- Are they willing to invest resources in education to support Arizona's long-term success?
- How will they challenge Arizonans to expect more and do more for education?
"Raising the bar and prioritizing education in our state cannot wait any longer," said Cathleen A. Barton, SW/US Education Manager, Intel Corporation. "We have to start viewing education as an investment, not an expense in order to ensure our students are prepared to compete and succeed in today's global economy."
Arizona has ranked near the bottom in terms of student achievement and student investment, most recently scoring a C- on the latest Quality Counts 2010 report, an annual and highly-respected analysis of the state of education across the country. Overall, the report ranked Arizona #46 out of the 50 states and District of Columbia. Quality Counts is compiled and released each year by the nonprofit group, Editorial Projects in Education.
"There is no question - how you vote matters when it comes to education," said Paul J. Luna, Chairman of Expect More Arizona. "For the past year, we have engaged thousands of citizens in taking action to make a difference in raising the bar for education - from birth through career; now we urge voters to make education a priority at election time."
Expect More Arizona is making all "Vote 4 Education" campaign materials available to community volunteers and organizations online at www.ExpectMoreArizona.org.
Expect More Arizona is a public-private partnership dedicated to creating a statewide movement of Arizonans who value education as our state's top priority and are actively engaged in strengthening education in Arizona. A volunteer Oversight Board comprised of representatives from organizations investing $100,000 or more annually provides strategic direction and fiscal oversight to the Expect More Arizona effort. Helios Education Foundation is one of 10 funders supporting Expect More Arizona.