January 27, 2023

AFT Poll: Parents, voters reject school culture wars, support academics and safe schools

AFT survey

A new American Federation of Teachers poll shows that voters want to see political leaders prioritize what kids need to succeed in school: strong fundamental academic skills and safe and welcoming school environments.

According to Geoff Garin, president of Hart Research Associates, which conducted the polling, voters see the ‘culture war’ as a distraction from what’s important and believe that the politicians pushing these issues are doing so for their own political benefit.

Polling ran Dec. 12-17, 2022, among 1,502 registered voters nationwide, including 558 public school parents. The survey’s confidence interval is ±3.0 percentage points.

  • 93 percent of respondents said improving public education is an important priority for government officials.
  • 66 percent said the government spends too little on education; 69 percent want to see more funding.
  • By 29 points, voters said their schools teach appropriate content, with an even greater trust in teachers.

Top education priorities for voters include providing students with strong fundamental academic skills; offering opportunities for all children to succeed, including through career and technical education and greater mental health supports; and providing a safe and welcoming environment for kids to learn.

According to voters, the most serious problems facing schools include teacher shortages, inadequate funding and school safety.