Public Skeptikal on More Education Spending

From Rasmussen Reports:

Voters overwhelmingly believe that taxpayers are not getting a good return on what they spend on public education, and just one-in-three voters think spending more will make a difference.

Nationally, the United States spends an average of about $9,000 per year per student. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that only 11% of voters think the taxpayers are getting a good return on that investment. Seventy-two percent (72%) disagree and say taxpayers are not getting their money’s worth. Sixteen percent (16%) are undecided. 

Talk about an indictment against the public schools; only 11% think they are getting their money’s worth?

Thirty-four percent (34%) voters believe student performance will improve if more money is spent on funding for schools and educations programs. A plurality (41%) disagrees and thinks that increased spending will not lead to improve student performance. Twenty-five percent (25%) aren’t sure.

The survey also found that voters tend to underestimate how much is spent on education.  Thirty-nine percent (39%) say the average per student expenditure is less than $9,000 per year while only 12% think it’s higher than that. Nine percent (9%) estimate the right amount but a plurality of 40% is not sure. There is a wide range of expenditure on education depending upon the state and region.

Most voters (54%) continue to believe that the government does not spend enough on public education, unchanged from a year ago. But that figure drops to 38% when voters are asked specifically if $9,000 per year is too much, too little or about the right amount to spend per student on education. Twenty-two percent (22%) of voters say, generally speaking, the government spends too much on public education, and that edges up slightly to 24% when voters are given the $9,000 per year figure.

This is the most perplexing part; on the one hand people seem to think we aren’t spending enough, but when they get the figures, that opinion seems to change.  Still, most people are skeptical of more spending!

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on April 25-26, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.   Most Democrats (63%) agree with the majority of Republicans (78%) and voters not affiliated with either party (77%) that taxpayers are not getting their money’s worth from the current investment.

Sorry, but it’s called spending, not investing!

Still, Democrats feel much more strongly than GOP voters and unaffiliateds that more money spent on funding for schools and education programs will improve student performance.

Or it will add more union members.

Male voters are more skeptical about the level of school funding and the need for more funding that female voters are. But women feel nearly as strongly as men that taxpayers are not getting a good return on their current $9,000 per student investment.

No gender gap?

In April of last year, just 29% of Adults were willing to pay higher taxes so more money could be spent on schools.

So are people just sick of getting taxed to death?  Are they tired of government whining that they don’t have enough, never have enough blah, blah, blah or are Americans finally willing to change the public school system completely?

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