A February survey of Washington voters by The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice indicates that voters there are much less likely to favor increased spending on K-12 education once they know how much money their state already spends.

Almost one-fifth (19%) of survey participants correctly identified their state’s per-student funding level: According to the survey, Washington spent $9,688 per student in 2008-9. About half (46%) thought the state spent $8,000 or less.

The survey asked if Washingtonians thought public school funding is too low. One subgroup was asked if they thought funding was too low before being told what the actual level was. Of those people, 56% said that public school funding is “too low.” But the other subgroup was told what Washington spends before being asked their opinion of the funding level. Of respondents who knew that Washington already spends about $10,000 per child, only 42% thought Washington’s education spending was “too low” – effectively a 25% reduction.

More than half of Washingtonians surveyed (52%) think K-12 education in their state is on the “wrong track.” Only 31% think it’s going in the “right direction.” But when Washington voters know how much money their state already spends per child, they are far less likely to think the problem with K-12 education is funding than when they don’t know. Policymakers, politicians, and education lobbyists should take care when blaming problems in K-12 education on funding. When voters know the truth, they aren’t convinced the problem is money.

 

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

 

Other Publications by Kathryn

School Choice Fosters Students’ “Profound Gratitude,” Author Says

Kathryn Hickok | September 17, 2014
Students everywhere are back in school, including grade school children from low-income families who are attending Oregon private schools thanks to the Children’s Scholarship Fund-Portland. ...  read more

The Votes Are In: Small Scholarships Have a Big Impact

Kathryn Hickok | September 3, 2014
The Children’s Scholarship Fund is a nationally recognized, privately funded scholarship program which has helped more than 139,000 low-income children attend tuition-based elementary schools nationwide ...  read more

Charter Schools Achieve Superior Outcomes with Unequal Funding

Kathryn Hickok | August 20, 2014
The University of Arkansas has published a first-ever comparison study of cost effectiveness and return on investment between different types of public schools. The Productivity ...  read more

More On These Topics

No New Street Fee: City Council Should Approve Street Maintenance from the General Fund

John Charles | October 1, 2014
Last week Portland City Commissioner Steve Novick suggested that the City Council approve $7 million in General Fund dollars to help pay for street maintenance. ...  read more

No Death Panels Here―Yet

Steve Buckstein | September 24, 2014
ObamaCare mastermind Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel recently published an Atlantic magazine essay explaining why he hopes to die at age 75, which for him is eighteen ...  read more

Testimony on Measure 86 to Portland Community College Board

Steve Buckstein | September 23, 2014
The following testimony was presented to the Portland Community College Board at their meeting on September 18, 2014.  The Board then voted 5 to 2 ...  read more