While kids were returning to school, we conducted education research in distinct U.S geographies all around the country. Our research touched on multiple topics including parent and non-parent attitudes and anxieties towards the state of the public school system in California, as well as making schools greener in Austin, Texas.
In California, parents are concerned about education, with 59% of them ranking quality of education in their top three concerns. Californians rank almost every aspect of the school’s performance as poor/very poor except for teachers, whom the majority rank as excellent/good.
Many of the concerns Californians have relate to solving fundamental issues such as hiring more teachers and paying them more to ensure retention. It also includes helping students catch up post-pandemic. Despite the concerns, 37% of parents who have a child in a non-public school say they would consider enrolling their child in a public school, while 39% are unsure if they would consider it.
In the Austin, Texas independent school district (ISD), voters overwhelmingly support green initiatives in schools. These initiatives include projects such as installing solar panels, investing in water-reducing plumbing, and introducing climate change curriculum. A majority of voters (85%) also support initiatives that would create career pathways in the construction industry.
Our client was pleased to see support for making the school district more sustainable while simultaneously creating career pathways for union work. They are hoping the board of trustees will vote to advance a plan that would then be placed on the November ballot. “A clear takeaway for us from this poll is that advancing a pro-worker, pro-climate agenda at Austin ISD isn’t just an option on the table – there is a clear expression of community support,” said Bo Delp, the executive director of the Texas Climate Jobs Action Fund, which advocates for carbon-free and healthy schools. Read more here. Similar to what we saw in California, Austin Voters view teachers and other school personnel favorably.
We are excited to be part of this research and these conversations around education in the United States, and we are looking forward to sharing further research with you later in the Fall.
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Embold Research is the nonpartisan, nonpolitical division of Change Research. Our methodology and polling have been featured in: