Days before the Legislature will consider a $410 million-a-year boost in education funding, the Idaho Education Association is hailing a survey showing overwhelming GOP support for schools.
The survey of 700 likely Republican voters was conducted this spring, but the teachers’ union released the survey results Wednesday. Here are a few key numbers:
- Asked if schools are a central part of their community, 89% of respondents strongly or somewhat agreed.
- 85% of respondents strongly or somewhat agreed that teacher’s aides, custodians and school support staff should be paid a livable wage.
- Asked if teachers deserve more pay, better benefits and more respect, 75% of respondents strongly or somewhat agreed.
- 74% of respondents strongly or somewhat agreed that the state should bolster funding on school facilities, in order to ease the burden on local property taxes.
- Asked if schools are a place where students learn to be the best Americans possible, 65% of respondents strongly or somewhat agreed.
- Asked about spending priorities, 91% of respondents said funding for early literacy programs is very important or somewhat important.
- 85% of respondents said it is very important or somewhat important to increase pay in order to retain teachers.
“Despite decades of effort by enemies of public education on the political fringe to undermine support for and confidence in public schools and educators, these astonishing poll numbers show something quite different,” IEA associate executive director Matt Compton said in a news release.
The Legislature will convene on Sept. 1 for a special session. Gov. Brad Little has proposed one bill for the session. It would provide $500 million in one-time tax credits and $160 million a year in ongoing income taxes, while earmarking $410 million a year in sales taxes for schools.
Conducted by American Viewpoint, a Republican-leaning research firm based in Alexandria, Va., the survey has a margin of 3.7%.