Majority of Maryland voters want more education spending

Posted at 9:03 AM, Jan 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-17 09:15:44-05

The majority of Maryland voters feel strongly about investing in public schools.

According to a new poll conducted by Gonzales Research & Media Services, 83 percent of Maryland voters say it is important to increase funding for public education.

Around 73 percent of voters said they would have such an action even if it means raising revenue by closing corporate loopholes and raising income taxes on the state's highest earners.

Despite Gov. Larry Hogan's popularity, the poll shows that many Marylanders oppose his actions to prioritize charter schools and private schools over public schools.

The poll revealed that 68 percent of voters believe that school leaders and elected officials in Maryland should focus education funding on improving existing public schools, while just 19 percent think they should focus education funding to private and charter schools. 

Baltimore City voters feel especially strong about the subject - with 78 percent of respondents saying they preferred such an approach.

"The voters we spoke to were very clear," said Patrick Gonzales, president of Gonzales Research. "They want their school leaders and elected officials to focus education funding on improving existing public schools, as opposed to shifting taxpayer dollars to schools under private-sector management like charter schools and parochial schools."

The survey also found that 70 percent of Maryland voters support expanding access to public pre-kindergarten to all 4-year-olds in the state, including 52 percent who "strongly favor" universal pre-K.

"As a middle school science teacher, I know it's critically important to have the public stand with our public schools and these new signs of strong support are incredibly encouraging," said Betty Weller, president of the Maryland State Education Association. "I hope our elected officials in Annapolis and in our local governments understand that their voters expect them to prioritize renewed investments in our public schools."

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