In March 2018, Hart Research (D) and The Tarrance Group (R) conducted a statewide telephone survey of registered voters in Alabama to gauge their opinions about early education and their support for the state to fully fund pre-k. The overarching takeaway from this survey is that Alabamians widely recognize the importance of pre-k for four-year-olds, strongly favor the state funding pre-k so that all four-year-olds are able to attend, and significantly endorse the idea that improving children’s school readiness ultimately will benefit the K-12 education system overall.
Some of the key findings from this survey are detailed below:
Substantial support for education funding generally — As a contextual point, Alabama voters widely prioritize education funding over freezing taxes and spending. Two in three (65%) voters say that “making sure there is sufficient funding for needs such as education” is a greater priority than “holding the line on state taxes and spending” (23%). That includes approximately six in 10 Republicans and seniors, and two-thirds of evangelicals, non-parents, and rural voters.
Overwhelming support for pre-k funding specifically — Fully 75% of voters say the state should fund voluntary pre-k for all families, just as we do for K-12 education—that includes 66% who feel strongly that the state should fund pre-k. By comparison, just 19% say the state should not fund pre-k. This pro-funding sentiment crosses demographic, geographic, and partisan boundaries.
Pre-k is a voting issue — Near the end of the survey, after hearing a number of reasons both to favor and to oppose expanded pre-k funding, 61% of voters say they would be more likely to support their state legislator if he/she favored expanding pre-k in Alabama. A near equal contingent (59%) say they would be more likely to support a candidate for governor who takes this position. Only 9% in each case say they would be less likely to support someone who takes this position, and about one in four says it makes no difference to them either way. Importantly, these opinions cross partisan lines, with majorities of Republicans, Democrats, and independents more inclined to support a pro-pre-k candidate.
For more poll results and analysis, click here to download the poll summary prepared by Hart Research Associates and The Tarrance Group.
Funding for the new poll was provided by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Alabama Civil Justice Foundation. Thank you to our funders!
————————————–The Alabama School Readiness Alliance advocates for the expansion of high-quality, voluntary pre-kindergarten. ASRA works to ensure that pre-k is a continuing priority for Alabama’s children, parents, community leaders, legislators and governing officials. ASRA is a collaborative effort of A+ Education Partnership, Alabama Giving, Alabama Partnership and VOICES for Alabama’s Children.