Nearly two years ago, a handful of individuals came together to form the Douglas Education Partnership Council. Since then, the Council has worked in our region to engage our community on key education issues.

We know that the quality of our schools will have a direct impact on the quality of life for all of our citizens. It’s schools that create the workforce, and it’s schools that businesses want to ensure are high-quality before they’ll relocate here.

To support further growth in our schools, we’ll be focused on four key priorities this year:

Supporting the success of every student by supporting policies and investments aimed at closing the achievement gap.

Improving teacher recruitment and retention, to include support for raising teacher pay to the national median.

Implementing long-term, sustainable investments in education from the early years through college and career, with a focus on equity and excellence in results.

Building a college-going culture that advances attainment locally and builds a strong economy and quality of life for everyone.

The state’s capitol building in Phoenix may seem far removed from Douglas, but the decisions made there have far-reaching implications. Laws passed in the 2020 legislative session will impact our schools on everything from funding levels to English language learning structure, and more.

To help ensure that local students’ needs are met, the Douglas Education Partnership Council is engaging with local educators, businesses, elected leaders and nonprofit groups. But we’re not the only ones that should be speaking up. Each Douglas-area resident should have a voice. Not sure how to do that? There are so many ways!

Volunteer at a local school. It means a lot to teachers and gives a first-hand look at the health of Douglas-area classrooms.

Contact your elected leaders at the city, school board and state legislature – tell them what matters to you. Expect More Arizona’s action center at expectmorearizona.org/takeaction includes ways to contact elected leaders and will even share sample questions.

Sign up for the state’s Request to Speak system, an online tool for sharing your feedback on bills with legislators. It’s simple to sign up and lets you share thoughts on potential bills right from your home.

Invite us to present to your group or organization. We love sharing information aboutour schools to help our community better understand the important education issues affecting all of us.

We’ll continue to engage with Expect More Arizona and the Arizona Education Progress Meter to help to create sustainable gains for our students and secure a strong economic future for everyone. It doesn’t matter whether you have a child in school or not – the quality of our schools still matters. Our entire region depends on a vibrant economy, which requires a vibrant school system and well-educated workforce.

The Douglas Education Partnership Council is a local collaboration between community leaders and Expect More Arizona to advance a shared vision for education in Douglas and the state. We all believe that every child deserves an excellent education – every step of the way. To learn more, contact Selena Llamas at Selena@expectmorearizona.org or visit Expectmorearizona.org/community-engagement.

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