Texas Poll Shows Support for More Money for Public Schools

For release:  August 2011  
Contact: Barbara Williams, 800.580.8272, ext. 6418

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(Austin) – Ninety percent of Texans agree that Texas’ public schools need more money from the state, according to a survey recently commissioned by the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) and conducted by Texas Poll. This number remains consistent from a year ago, when 88 percent said the state should provide more funding to public education. The poll, conducted in July, focused on funding for public schools and the Texas Legislature’s response to the issue.
Most Texans – 85 percent – say the Legislature did not make education a priority in the state budget for 2012-13, and 75 percent believe lawmakers should not have cut public school funding. Only 4 percent believe funding cuts of $4 billion were necessary, and 12 percent say reductions were needed but the Legislature cut too much money from public schools.

Meanwhile, 69 percent of Texans would support a local tax increase to help fund their public schools. That support increases to 76 percent among residents who have children in public schools.

Nearly half of Texans – 48 percent – say their local school district will be “affected greatly” in delivering the same quality education with less money from the state. Forty-one percent say the district will be affected but still able to deliver, and only 5 percent believe their district won’t be affected at all.

The July 2011 Texas Poll surveyed 1,000 adult Texans by telephone in a random sample of active telephone exchanges statewide. Margin of error for whole sample is ±3 percentage points and slightly larger for subgroups. Responses are given in percentages, rounded to the nearest whole number.

TASB is a nonprofit association established in 1949 to serve local public school districts. School board members are the largest group of publicly elected officials in the state. The districts they represent serve more than 4.8 million students.