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Blog Post · April 19, 2024

Video: Californians and Education

photo - Row of School Lockers

PPIC’s April survey explores the opinions of California adults—including parents with children enrolled in public school—about the quality of K–12 public education, school funding and resources, and state officials’ handling of the K–12 system. At a virtual briefing last week, PPIC survey analyst Deja Thomas outlined the survey’s findings and discussed key takeaways with associate survey director Dean Bonner.

In many cases, opinions are divided along partisan lines. For example, 68% of Democrats think the state’s public K–12 system is headed in the right direction, while 83% of Republicans say it is heading in the wrong direction. Partisans are in closer agreement in a few areas—for example, 82% of Democrats and 73% of Republicans support teaching about the history of slavery, racism, and segregation.

The education survey also sheds light on what parents with children enrolled in public school think about a range of issues. This yielded some interesting findings. For example, while the views of public school parents on whether the public K–12 system is headed in the right direction are similar to those of all adults, public school parents are more likely to say that their local public schools are doing an excellent or good job of preparing students for college (72%) and the workforce (65%) than California adults overall (60% and 51%, respectively).

This group was also much more likely to say that students in their local schools fell behind academically during the pandemic (72%) than that their own children fell behind (51%). “We’re asking them if their child fell behind academically, and that might not something that everyone wants to admit,” said Thomas.


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