Newly released poll results from the Gallup organization show strong public support for preschool.
“Seven in 10 Americans say they favor using federal money to make sure high-quality preschool education programs are available for every child in America,” according to Gallup, which adds:
“Such schooling has great potential benefits for children, instilling academic and social skills at a young age that can aid them throughout their school years. That may be one reason for Americans’ widespread support for the proposal.”
Specifically, the poll asked: “Would you favor or oppose using federal money to increase funding to make sure high-quality preschool programs are available for every child in America?”
Gallup explains, “The potential of closing the achievement gap is one of the motivating factors behind the Obama administration’s push to expand federal funding for universal access to preschool. Reflecting that push, the question wording specifically referred to ‘using federal money’ to pay for an increase in pre-K programs.”
Details on the Data
The poll found that support for preschool varies among key demographic groups.
“Republicans (53%) are much less likely than Democrats (87%) to favor using federal money to expand pre-K education… The 70% of independents in favor of the proposal matches the national average.”
“Nonwhites (85%) are more likely than whites (63%) to favor expanding preschool education, and those residing in lower-income households (81%) show greater support than those in middle- and upper-income households (65% each).”
These poll results are based on telephone interviews conducted in August “with a random sample of 1,013 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.” The margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.
“The public seems to agree with Obama’s push for expanding preschool education in more areas of the country. But as with any proposal, it may fall behind other government priorities,” Gallup notes.
Gallup also points to the “political calculus” involved, noting, “Although a slim majority of Republicans favor expanded federal funds for pre-K education, their level of support is much less than that of Democrats. And with Republicans currently holding the majority in the House, it is unclear how motivated they would be to take action on the issue as opposed to other issues for which rank-and-file Republicans show far greater support.”
Nonetheless, this new polling data helps document that there is widespread, bipartisan national support for high-quality preschool programs.
To keep this support going and growing, please share this news with your legislators and among your social and social media networks.