Polled Ariz. execs: Invest more in K-12, higher ed
By: Ronald J. Hansen
The Republic | Azcentral.Com

Arizona’s educational system and the workers it produces are viewed as major impediments to better economic growth, a survey of business executives here has found.

Collectively, the executives didn’t see taxes or regulations among their biggest problems, though these have remained popular policy prescriptions.

Instead, nearly three-quarters of the survey’s respondents saw improving K-12 as the most important task for local governments, and 56 percent saw boosting K-12 funding as the state’s biggest job.

Similarly, many of the executives wanted better-trained workers and more funds for higher education without abandoning pro-business tax policies.

The survey of 400 business executives was conducted in November on behalf of the Arizona Commerce Authority, the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Greater Phoenix Economic Council and Alliance Bank.

“While the results didn’t surprise me, I was a little taken aback at how strongly the need for investment in education came through,” said Jim Lundy, founding president and CEO of Alliance Bank.

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