WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Should funding for education be increased, decreased, or left as it is?
Sixty eight percent of Kansans said it should be increased in the latest KSN News poll conducted exclusively for KSN by SurveyUSA. Twenty percent of respondents said it should be left as it is. Nine percent said it should be decreased. Three percent are not sure. The margin for error in this poll is +/-3.8%.
“The poll results show overwhelming the support for increased funding for education in the state,” said Jeff Jarman, KSN political analyst. “We’ve heard the governor talk repeatedly about education funding has increased. But regardless, Kansans clearly want more money spent on education.”
School districts across the state have sued over education funding. Also, last legislative session, a coalition of Republican lawmakers in the House tried to get more money put into education. That effort failed.
But the latest KSN News poll indicates education funding is playing a role in the current election cycle.
“Education funding was a prime issue in many of the high-profile races we saw in August, and I think that this explains why so many of those incumbents lost in the primary,” said Jarman. “Poll results like this will be used by opponents of the current administration policies to force his (Governor Sam Brownback) hand. It will be difficult to do nothing in the face of 68 percent of the public who wants education funding increased.”
Jarman points out the numbers in the new KSN News poll not only show strong support for more education dollars, but that support represents a large cross-section of Kansans.
“Across every category, we see strong support for increased funding for education even among those who are strong conservatives, we see numbers above 40 percent,” said Jarman. “And above 50 percent in every other category. And that’s how you get a state that demands increased funding for education.”
There is still an outstanding lawsuit brought by school districts. The lawsuit requests the state lawmakers to put more money into education. That lawsuit is in the hands of the Kansas Supreme Court right now and Jarman points out that a ruling could come at any time.
“If they rule that there does need to be more funding, these poll results and that court decision will put tremendous pressure on the legislature to respond and increase funding for schools,” explained Jarman.