Statewide Survey Finds Public Sides With Gov. Tony Evers, Democrats on Education Issues

Teacher Shortage a Serious Concern, Strong Public Support for Solutions to Keep Quality Teachers in Classrooms

MADISON, Wis. — The results of a survey of Wisconsin voters sponsored by One Wisconsin Now finds Gov. Tony Evers and Democrats with a strong advantage on education issues. The poll of 801 state voters was conducted by Public Policy Polling (PPP) June 14-16. Key findings include a majority of voters trust Gov. Evers and Democrats versus Republicans on education issues, there is significant concern over the impact of a statewide teacher shortage and the public strongly supports several actions to help address the teacher shortage issue.

“Wisconsin voters care about their public schools,” said One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Analiese Eicher. “They support funding for their schools, they want quality teachers in classrooms and they know Gov. Evers and Democrats are the ones working to make it happen.”

Key findings highlighted in a memo prepared by Public Policy Polling include:

  • 66% of voters consider the teacher shortage in Wisconsin public schools to be a serious problem. A plurality of 35% consider it a very serious problem.
  • 64% of voters think a portion of new funding allocated to school districts should be used to fund an increase in teacher pay, while only 25% disagree. This includes almost unanimous support among Democrats (86-6) and the overwhelming (63-23) support of independents.
  • A further 53% of voters also support changing state law to allow teachers to negotiate over benefits and working conditions and remove limits on public school teachers negotiating with school districts for pay increases, while only 30% oppose it.
  • Wisconsin voters support Governor Evers’ proposal for a $600-million increase in state funding for special education by a 15-point margin, with 53% of voters in support and only 38% opposing.
  • Voters trust Governor Evers and Democrats more on education issues by a margin of 12 points, with 51% of all voters trusting Evers and Democrats more and 39% trusting Republicans more. Among voters identifying as independents, Gov. Evers and Democrats enjoy a 22 point edge.

Eicher also highlighted that on the issue of student loan debt, A large majority of Wisconsin voters (76%) support a state-based plan to allow Wisconsin student loan borrowers to refinance their student loan debt as people do with home mortgage loans, while only 13% oppose this. Gov. Evers included a plan to start the process of setting up a process helping state borrowers refinance their student loans but Republican legislative leaders removed it from consideration.

The survey questions and results can be found here.

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