PPIC survey on education

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, April 25, 2013 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

In its latest survey, the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) examines and focuses on how Californians view the current state education system. According to results, survey participants generally view state school performance as below par, but have differing opinions regarding how to address the problem at the classroom level. When it comes to state education funding, however, an overwhelming majority of likely voters were clear about their feelings on how money should be spent. According to results, 60 percent of likely voters support Governor Jerry Brown’s education funding proposal – the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) – that would direct extra revenue to school districts with more English language learners and/or lower income students; 31 percent oppose this funding proposal. The survey also found that 78 percent favor giving local school districts more flexibility over how to spend state education dollars.

CMTA has strong concerns about the LCFF proposal because it seriously threatens future funding for hands-on, career technical education (CTE) courses. The LCFF eliminates the categorical programs that currently fund CTE programs (approximately $600 million) then allocates a third of it (approximately $200 million) theoretically to CTE in the 9-12 grade spans but without any requirement to actually use the dollars for vocational training. Schools that currently receive CTE dollars will continue to do so at their same level of funding under the LCFF, however, without any measurable outcome requirements to ensure that students receive rigorous, relevant, hands-on technical training and no accountability system to guarantee program offerings, industries such as manufacturing will find it increasingly difficult to rely on the K-12 system to both identify and develop the next generation of industrial workers.  

In addition, the poll also found the following noteworthy results:

  • 51 percent say they would vote to raise local parcel taxes in order to provide more funding to local K-12 schools; 47 percent would vote against such taxes;
  • 48 percent think it’s a bad idea to lower the current vote threshold from 2/3 to 55 percent in order to pass local parcel taxes to fund local public schools; 47 percent say it’s a good idea;
  • 74 percent think it’s very important to include career technical or vocational education as part of the public school curriculum;
  • 47 percent say that the most important goal of the state’s K-12 education system is to prepare kids for college;
  • 49 percent of likely voters approve of Governor Brown’s job performance; 41 percent disapprove; and
  • 64 percent of likely voters disapprove of the Legislature’s job performance; 29 percent approve.

For more information on the survey, please see http://www.ppic.org/content/pubs/survey/S_413MBS.pdf.

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