Survey of Pennsylvanians on Support for High-Quality Pre-K

Survey of Pennsylvanians on Support for High-Quality Pre-K

See a summary of opinion research conducted on behalf of Pre-K for PA, which shows Pennsylvanians strongly support increasing funding to ensure all children have access to voluntary, high-quality pre-k programs.

To: Pre-K for PA
From: Lake Research Partners, Bellwether Research & Consulting
Re: Poll Findings
Date: January 21, 2014

Education is a core issue for Pennsylvania voters. Forty-one (41) percent of voters identify education and schools as one of the most important issues for elected officials to focus on, second only to jobs and the economy (49 percent).

Pennsylvanians strongly support increasing funding to ensure all children have access to voluntary, high quality Pre-K programs. A 63 percent majority of voters support increasing funding, including 51 percent who strongly support, while 23 percent oppose and 14 percent say they are not sure.

Support remains strong even if such funding increased voters’ taxes. A 58 percent majority say they favor increasing funding for Pre-K programs even if it increased their taxes, while 27 percent oppose and 15 percent are not sure.

Across party lines, voters support expanding access to high-quality pre-K programs. Two-thirds of voters (67 percent) support expanding access including majorities of Democrats (83 percent), Republicans (56 percent), and independents (61 percent).

Voters say they are more likely to vote for candidates for elected office if they favored increasing funding for pre-K programs, and less likely to vote for those who opposed increasing funding. Forty-three (43) percent of voters say they are more likely to vote for a candidate who favored increasing funding for pre-K programs, while just 20 percent say they are less likely. Thirty-seven (37) percent say they are less likely to vote for a candidate who opposed increasing funding for pre-K programs, and just 20 percent say they are more likely.

Support for increasing funding for pre-K programs rests in two strongly held values. First, voters say it is very important to ensure that all children arrive at kindergarten ready to learn. They understand the connection between pre-K programs and being prepared for the K-12 system. Secondly, voters recognize the positive outcomes that pre-K programs generate in the form of higher graduation rates, increased employment rates and higher earnings later in adulthood.

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Lake Research Partners and Bellwether Research and Consulting designed and administered this survey that was conducted by telephone using professional interviewers November 18 – 21, 2013. The survey reached a total of 601 likely voters in the state of Pennsylvania. Telephone numbers for the survey were drawn using a voter file sample. The data were weighted slightly by age and party registration to reflect the attributes of the actual population. The margin of error for the total sample is +/-4.0%.

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