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October 25, 2016

Poll: 68% of CT Voters Support Moukawsher Decision, 57% Want Immediate Action To Improve Public Schools

NEW HAVEN, CT  --  The Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now (ConnCAN) today released the results of a public opinion poll conducted by Benenson Strategy Group, which finds that an overwhelming majority of Connecticut voters (68%) support Judge Thomas Moukawsher’s recent decision calling for a rational education funding formula for the state’s public school system, among other reforms. Further, the poll shows that 57% of voters want the General Assembly to take immediate action to address these issues, rather than wait for the Connecticut Supreme Court’s ruling on the Moukawsher appeal.
“These results show that there is a clear consensus for action to fix the way Connecticut funds local public schools so it’s fair for every student,” said Danny Franklin, Managing Partner of Benenson Strategy Group, which conducted the poll.  “Not only do a strong majority of voters support the decision, but they believe the General Assembly should take action to create a plan for improving Connecticut’s public schools, not delay while the ruling is appealed.”
“The results of this poll are a call to candidates and General Assembly members that Connecticut voters want action now on the education equity issues so poignantly laid out in Judge Moukawsher’s decision,” said Jennifer Alexander, Executive Director of ConnCAN.  “Nearly all (87%) of voters know that a strong economy depends on strong public schools. Voters expect our state leaders to use fair and consistent rules to fund all of our public schools and agree that our current lack of a fair, equitable, and predictable education funding formula must be addressed immediately. The poll shows a clear, strong consensus for action, this legislative session, to adopt a fair funding formula that ensures that all of Connecticut’s students, across all types of public schools, have access to the great public education guaranteed by our state constitution.”

Other highlights from the poll:

  • Only 18% of voters say public schools in Connecticut “are doing a good job educating Connecticut’s children,” while 38% say the schools have “urgent problems” to address immediately and another 38% say Connecticut public schools face “some problems” to be addressed “eventually.”
  • 79% of voters agree that Connecticut should use consistent and fair rules to distribute funding to all kinds of local public schools, including charter schools and traditional public schools, so every student gets the resources they need.
  • 71% of voters agree that state government hasn’t done nearly enough to fix and strengthen Connecticut’s public schools, and they need to stop delaying and take action now.
  • 63% of voters agree that the way Connecticut funds local schools is fundamentally unfair and denies children in poorer areas a fair chance to succeed.
  • 59% of voters agree that the way Connecticut distributes funds to public school districts is arbitrary and not based on a real plan to help all students succeed.
  • 87% of voters agree that for Connecticut to have a strong economy, we need a public school system that prepares every student to succeed in college and in good careers.
  •  The poll of 600 Connecticut voters was conducted by Benenson Strategy Group from October 5-9, 2016 and has a margin of error of ±3.4% at the 95% confidence level.

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