March 14, 2010

Oklahoma Voters: More Spending Won't Help

Tomorrow in The Oklahoman, I make the case that more school spending in Oklahoma won't translate into better student performance. And I am pleasantly surprised by some new polling data which show that Oklahomans agree -- and by a stunning two-to-one margin.

A scientific telephone survey of 1,000 likely voters registered in Oklahoma was conducted February 25 through March 8 by SoonerPoll, the same firm that conducts the “Oklahoma Poll” for the Tulsa World. The poll, which I commissioned last month, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

“Now I’m going to read you a statement,” the surveyor said. “Please tell me whether you agree or disagree: If more money is spent on public schools in my district, students will learn more.” Only 32 percent of respondents agree with that statement, while 64 percent disagree. 

Even Oklahoma Democrats (39 percent to 57 percent) don’t think more money will improve student learning. Oklahoma Republicans (24 percent to 70 percent) are more emphatic.

It's almost as if people are familiar with this chart.

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