Despite the recent backlash against Superior Court Judge Thomas Moukawsher’s ruling, it turns out the majority of Connecticut voters agree with his decision.
According to a poll released yesterday by the Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now (ConnCAN), two-thirds (68%) of Connecticut voters support the intentions of Moukawsher’s decision.
This might come as a bit of a shock to those following the trial. Particularly, if you consider that the state’s two largest teachers unions, both of which were members of the coalition that filed the suit nearly a decade ago, have been railing against the decision.
Moukawsher’s ruling in the CCJEF v. Rell school-funding case made national headlines in September. The unexpectedly-sweeping decision gave the Connecticut legislators 180 days to overhaul nearly every aspect of the state’s education system, from the allocation of school funding to teacher evaluations and graduation requirements.
The poll also found that a majority of voters (57%) agreed that the state General Assembly should take immediate action to address these issues, rather than wait for the appeals process.
“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, the research firm that conducted the poll.
During a conference call with the press, Franklin said the poll was conducted by interviewing 600 participants by phone, between October 5th and October 9th, a month after the ruling was announced.
Other significant findings:
- 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.
For more information, here’s a link to full memo released by Benenson Strategy Group.