This morning, the Goucher Poll released new public opinion data on how Marylanders think about several public policy issues, including public education funding. The Goucher Poll surveyed 800 Maryland adults from February 12-17 and has a margin of error of +/-3.5 percent.
Respondents were asked, “Do you think the state government spends [too much, too little, or about the right amount] to fund public education in Maryland?” Their answers:
A majority of Democrats (81%), Independents (73%), and Republicans (51%) answered “too little” in response to the question—a strong bipartisan coalition of Maryland residents. Marylanders from all corners of the state believe the state underfunds their public schools, with 73% of residents in the DC Capitol region, 68% from Central Maryland, and 73% of those living outside the urban corridor answering “too little.”
“Parents and educators know the truth about how underfunded our schools have become in the last decade,” said Sean Johnson, Director of Legislative Affairs for the Maryland State Education Association. “The time for budget gimmicks and temporary fixes must end. The 2018 elections will be a referendum on the question of: who is ready to pass a comprehensive plan to provide our schools and students with the funding they truly need?”
Maryland parents, educators, and students have long expressed concern about growing unmet needs in public schools across the state. A recent state-commissioned study found that the state and counties underfund the average Maryland public school by $2 million every single year. This public opinion is confirmed by several evidence points about school resources: