Poll indicates support for small tax increase for public education

Poll indicates support for small tax increase for public education

Public support for a tax increase for public schools is growing, with 70 percent of those polled agreeable, rising to 79 percent for residents in Riverside, Avondale, Ortega and San Marco, according to the annual Public Education Perceptions poll sponsored, funded and analyzed by the Jacksonville Public Education Fund (JPEF).

“Folks who live in these areas tend to be very community-minded, and they understand the importance of public education to their community regardless of where they decide to send their children for school,” said Trey Csar, president of JPEF.

To close perception gaps, the Discover Duval Schools program takes residents on tours of public schools in Duval County, and there are concerted efforts by partners such as JPEF to help narrow the gap.

“We would encourage everyone who cares about public education – regardless of whether you have a direct connection to schools – to attend the ONE by ONE Convention on Saturday, Jan. 23,” said Csar. “There, you can connect with diverse public education advocates from all over our city to talk about progress over the last year and move to action in 2106.”

The convention registration page can be found at jaxpef.org/convention.

Additionally, the poll indicated a young adult’s future success will require, at minimum, a two- or four-year college degree.

Nearly 60 percent of those who responded to the poll believe that a high school diploma will not be enough for the Class of 2020. That is borne out by a report on job growth and education requirements conducted in 2014 by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, which indicates 65 percent of jobs require some postsecondary training.

To prepare young adults for college, Duval County Public Schools raised graduation standards beyond state requirements, and increased by 50 percent both enrollment in career and technical programs, according to a brief released nearly four years ago by the JPEF.

The poll was sponsored, funded, and analyzed by the Jacksonville Public Education Fund, and conducted by the Public Opinion Research Laboratory at the University of North Florida in early November. The sample of 534 adults was selected from the target population of Duval County adults (18 years or older) through the use of Random-Digit-Dialing methodology for both landlines and cell phones. The margin of sampling error for this survey was +/- 4.24 percent.

By Kate A. Hallock
Resident Community News

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