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TSTA poll on public education

The Texas State Teachers Association released the results of its annual poll on attitudes towards public education in Texas last week. From the poll memo (PDF):

Despite a declining national and state economy, a majority of Texas voters still maintain
that too little is being spent on education.
A 60% majority of voters believe the state
government is spending too little on education versus 10% who say too much and 24%
who say the right amount. This perception of under-investment is held by majorities of
Republicans, Independents and Democrats, and it is essentially unchanged from the
view held throughout our polling from 2003 through 2007.

Sixty-three percent (63%) of Texans think state funding for public schools should be
By contrast, just 6% believe state funding for schools should be decreased
and 27% say it should be kept at the same level. This majority support for increasing
state spending on schools is held by 54% of Republicans, 62% of Independents, and
76% of Democrats.

Despite the economic anxiety of voters, those who support increasing the funding of
schools remains over 60%.

Furthermore, 71% of voters – with no partisan bias (Republicans 69%, Independents
71% and Democrats 76%) – believe the state legislature has more work to do to properly
fund public schools
, versus 20% who say it has sufficiently addressed the issue.
Although those saying the Legislature must do more has declined from 81% two years
ago to 71% now, the current 7-to-2 sentiment remains overwhelmingly lopsided.

Emphasis in the original. Other subjects polled include standardized testing and teacher pay. You can see all the data, with graphs, in this large PDF file; there’s also a video presentation. The remarkable thing is how stable the numbers have been since 2003, in all areas. Maybe this is how people have always felt, going back to the creation of the public school system, I don’t know. The disconnect between what people say they want and what they’ve been getting is still pretty striking.

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