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Education Proposition 208 leads in Arizona vote count

After years of protests, lobbying and canvassing for signatures, supporters of amplified school funding believe they are on the brink of a major victory.

ARIZONA, USA — Proposition 208 would add a 3.5% tax surcharge to the state’s highest earners and is estimated to add around $850 million annually to the Arizona’s education budget.

As of 9 p.m. Wednesday, the vote was 52% in favor and 48% opposed.

“It feels really really good," said President of the Paradise Valley Educators Association, Susan Seep. She sees these results being promising. 

“Hopefully this empowers schools to fill their empty positions and allows districts to pay a living wage to support professionals,” said Seep.

Seep said that she still anticipates battles at the State Legislature level on other school funding issues, even if Prop 208 passes. 

Stephanie Parra, President of the Phoenix Union High School Governing Board believes the passage of Prop 208 couldn't come at a better time for Arizona. 

"We're looking at this as a win for education, especially with all the challenged facing our schools," Parra said. "With 50,000 students no longer enrolled in public schools, what is going to happen to our funding structure?"

The opposition campaign to Prop 208 called any celebrations at this time premature and continues to warn that it could place an unfair burden on small businesses. 

Opponents also cast doubt that the passage would result in sustainable raises for teachers. 

This is the second attempt in two years for a proposition that would assist with school funding. The first time around, the proposition was thrown out by the Supreme Court of Arizona.