Poll Needier Students 516018221
What Americans say about…

Spending & funding: Should schools spend more on needier students?

Americans say needier students should have more support, but they divide evenly on those funds should come from.

Addressing a long-running debate on spending priorities, the public by a 21-point margin (60% to 39%) prefers having public schools spend more on students who need more support rather than spending the same on all students regardless of their need for support.

However, Americans surveyed in the 2018 PDK poll provide no clear guidance on how to pay for services for students who need extra support: Half favor raising more money through higher taxes; half favor spending less on students with fewer needs.

Pdkpoll K14A Spending

The political gaps on both questions are very large. Seven in 10 Democrats prefer to spend more on students who need more support, declining to half of Republicans. Almost two-thirds of Democrats would rather raise taxes than spend less on other students, while about one-third of Republicans would rather spend less. Independents fall in between.

These partisan differences extend to other groups. Democratic-leaning groups such as nonwhites, urbanites, and white women with college degrees are more likely than their counterparts to favor spending more.

Seven in 10 urbanites support spending more, while just more than half of those in suburban or rural areas say the same. Although urban and suburban residents split evenly on how to make that extra spending happen, more conservative rural residents prefer spending less on other students (57%) over raising taxes (41%).

Pdkpoll K14B Spending Table

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