We received some great polling information at today’s FGSC 2015 Conference. You can find the pdf of the presentation here. The initial summary and conclusions are as follows:
- Outside of illegal immigration (33%), likely voters in Texas name education (24%) as their top issue concern. They view the most serious problems in education as “The way we fund education” and “The quality of education.”
- There is a broad consensus among likely voters, including a majority of conservatives and Republicans, that “We need to build new schools to keep up with the exploding growth caused by the significant economic development occurring in Texas.”
- Likely voters –including Republicans –support a proposal to update the Fifty Cent Debt Test by raising the cap 20%.
- Likely voters –including Republicans and conservatives –want state government to provide funding assistance for school facilities in fast growth areas.
To gain even broader support for each of these proposals, there are good arguments to make, but our research shows that how we frame each proposal is most critical:
- For Raising the 50-Cent Cap 20% on Fifty Cent Debt Test: “The practical purpose of this proposal is to allow fast growth school districts to exceed a twenty year-old facilities tax rate cap to provide additional school facilities needed as a result of overwhelming student enrollment growth.”
- For State Funding Assistance: “In the late 1990’s the Texas legislature established state programs to provide funding assistance for school facilities. The calculations for these programs have not been updated and legislative support has declined; therefore many school districts that previously received assistance no longer do. The Texas legislature should update and fully-fund these state programs so fast growth school districts receive support for needed facilities.”