October 12, 2021

Advocating for Increased Access and Affordability of Early and Postsecondary Education

Education Forward Arizona is using its voice to advocate for the funding and policy changes needed to meet the goals in the Arizona Education Progress Meter. Recently, Education Forward Arizona has been supporting federal proposals for universal Pre-K, free community college and to increase the Pell Grant. If implemented, these strategies would drive significant progress towards multiple goals in the Arizona Education Progress Meter.

The Pre-K initiative will increase access to quality early learning for Arizona’s 3- and 4-year-olds from families who want it. When children have access to quality early learning, they are better prepared for kindergarten and are more likely to be successful in the early grades. However, quality early learning often costs as much as going to college, which makes it impossible for many families to participate. This proposal would remove financial barriers and increase the number of children in quality settings.

On the postsecondary education side, Education Forward Arizona is supporting a proposal for free community college that would open the door to Arizona students who did not think that affording a college degree was possible. Likewise, increasing the Pell Grant would make it possible for more low-income students to afford a postsecondary education. Both of these proposals have the potential to significantly increase the number of Arizonans to complete a postsecondary degree or certificate, which would greatly accelerate progress towards our state’s attainment goal, Achieve60AZ.