Nearly three out of every four American taxpayers believe that they are not getting their money’s worth out of the country’s public education system.
The stinging indictment on public schools comes from a new Rasmussen poll of 1,000 likely voters earlier this month. But the most telling aspect of the survey is that “just one-in-three voters think spending more will make a difference.”
That’s good news for lawmakers across the country working to overhaul the inefficiencies in collective bargaining and save education funding through more cost-effective options like charter schools or voucher programs.
The Education Action Group and other education reform advocates have worked tirelessly to explain to the American public that it’s not how much is spent on education, it’s how the money is spent. The Rasmussen report is the most recent confirmation that taxpayers are getting the message
For decades, the nation’s teachers unions – the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association – have imposed expensive automatic raises, Cadillac health insurance plans and other union perks on school districts as student achievement has fallen further behind other countries.
The unions have fought to protect their special interests at the expense of student learning, and continue to oppose promising alternatives like charter schools and voucher programs that threaten their inefficient monopoly. The public has responded by supporting restricted collective bargaining, higher educator accountability standards, and increased school choice initiatives this year in dozens of states.
It’s clear that Americans are fed up with an education system that fails thousands of students across the country every year, and are aligned with education reformers working to do something about it. The only question that remains is if union leaders and the education establishment will embrace the inevitable improvements, or continue to fight for the failed status quo.
“The education establishment would be wise to innovate, diversify and improve in order to gain a greater public investment,” said Kyle Olson, founder and CEO of EAG. “Until that happens, Americans will continue to see the war being waged in state capitals around the country for what it is: adults looking out for their own interests.”