The annual PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Education comes at a time when there are major policy changes underway in the state’s K–12 system. They include implementation of the Local Control Funding Formula, Common Core standards, and the Smarter Balanced standardized tests. The survey was released last week and presented at a briefing in Sacramento by research associate Lunna Lopes.
The survey offers a good look at public reaction to the changes and attitudes toward education more broadly. About three-quarters of adults said they knew nothing about the Local Control Funding Formula, which gives districts more flexibility in spending state funds and gives additional money to districts with more English language learners and lower-income students. When survey respondents were read a description of the funding formula, most favored the idea.
About 58% said they had heard about Common Core, the new set of English and math standards. But only 47% favored the idea and 31% opposed it. The poll also found a high level concern more generally about the quality of K–12 education and funding.