IEA Poll Confirms Strong Opposition to Cuts to Schools
More than eight in 10 Idaho voters (81%) oppose the legislature’s decision to cut nearly $130 million from Idaho’s K-12 education budget for next school year. Opposition to the cuts spans the partisan divide with majorities of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents opposed to the action.
“Idahoans do not want to see any more cuts to their public schools,” IEA President Sherri Wood reported when the poll results were unveiled at the IEA Delegate Assembly in mid-April. “Voters clearly feel that Idaho’s schools need to be better funded, and they are willing to work to make that happen.”
The poll probed a number of areas to determine voter views, including enhancing and dedicating state revenue to schools.
When asked whether they would favor or oppose specific revenue options that would help protect Idaho’s public schools, voters provide solid support for ideas such as increasing the sales tax and dedicating the increased revenue to schools.
They also support hiring additional auditors to collect unpaid state and local taxes.
The IEA hired a nationally respected research firm to survey 500 registered Idaho voters who are likely to vote in the 2010 general election. The survey was conducted March 10-14, 2010. The survey results are statistically sound. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.4 percentage points at the 95% level of confidence.
The survey also found that:
- 68% of Idahoans would increase their sales tax by an additional penny, if the money was dedicated to public schools.
- 60% of Idahoans would favor adding a five percent surcharge on personal income taxes for Idahoans who make over $100,00 a year.
- 57% of Idaho voters would support hiring additional state auditors to help collect some of the nearly $255 million in uncollected state and local taxes.
- 82% of Idaho voters are opposed to eliminating funding for teachers to purchase basic classroom supplies they need to teach.
- More than 75% of Idaho voters oppose reducing teacher salaries by 4%, eliminating funding for the purchase of textbooks and technology, and reducing funding for remediation.