Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton endorsed Prop 123, Tuesday, as a necessary first step to improving Arizona’s public education system by increasing funding by $3.5 billion over the next 10 years.

The announcement was made at Irene Lopez School of the Roosevelt School District and included Sharon Harper, the chairman of the Let’s Vote Yes for Arizona Schools, in support of Prop 123 campaign, Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry President and CEO Glenn Hamer and Christine Marsh, the 2016 Arizona Educational Association Teacher of the Year.

“Nothing is more important to our economy than building an education system that prepares every child for success,” Stanton said. “This is why I support Proposition 123, a critical and long-overdue first step to strengthening our schools.”

Stanton’s endorsement was praised by Harper and Marsh as a needed voice of support for the state’s public K-12 education system.

“We’re grateful for the support of leaders like Mayor Stanton who realize that Prop 123 is an investment in our public school system, economic development and future,” Harper said. “The mayor is a trusted education advocate with a recognizable voice for teachers and students.”

“As a teacher, I am glad to see Mayor Stanton coming out in support of an increase in public school funding,” Marsh said, a Chaparral High School advanced placement English teacher. “Our students, our teachers and our state as a whole need public officials to take a stand and call for improved public school funding.”

Prop 123 provides billions of additional dollars for the public school system without raising taxes. The funding under the proposal will be provided by increasing the distributions from the state land trust, which exists to support education.

Hamer, one of many Prop 123 supporters among Arizona’s business community, said leaders like Stanton provide the needed perspective that public education is a necessary component of economic development.

“Mayor Stanton is among this state’s leaders who understand that we need to improve our K-12 system to make college and career-ready students,” Hamer said. “A great public education system is also essential to attract businesses considering relocating to or expanding operations in Arizona.”