Something for school leaders in new Kansas Speaks survey

On the issues of taxes, spending and COVID-19, the 2020 Kansas Speaks statewide public opinion survey has some interesting results for public school advocates. 

The survey issued by The Docking Institute of Public Affairs at Fort Hays State University was conducted Sept. 21 to Oct. 1 and assessed attitudes and opinions from 417 adult Kansas residents. 

On the issue of taxes, 24.4 percent of respondents preferred higher taxes and spending; 49.8 percent wanted lower taxes and spending and 25.7 percent were satisfied with the current levels. 

Of those who favored increased taxes, 69 percent — the highest amount — said they favored increased state funding for K-12 education. Of those who wanted lower taxes and spending, 56.2 percent favored cutting state funding for state colleges and universities, while less than 20 percent supporting cutting funds to social services (11.2 percent); roads and highways (18.5 percent); and K-12 (19.1 percent).  

The survey also rated public officials and institutions handling of the coronavirus outbreak. The percentages are based on those who approved or strongly approved of the officials’ job in dealing with COVID-19 and those who disapproved or strongly disapproved with the remaining percentages being those who neither approved nor disapproved. 

Of those who had higher approval than disapproval ratings were:  

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, (51.5 percent answered strongly approve or approve while 22.7 percent answered disapprove or strongly disapprove); 

Gov. Laura Kelly (47.5 percent to 30.5 percent); 

Local city government (42.3 percent to 24.7 percent)

Local county government (38.6 percent to 31.6 percent); 

Local school board (35.9 percent to 29.3 percent) 

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump, Congress, the Kansas Legislature and State Board of Education had higher disapproval totals than approval. 

For Trump, 46.3 percent disapproved, while 42.9 percent approved; Congress, 51.7 percent disapproved, 16.9 percent approved; the Legislature, 34.4 percent disapproved and 26.7 percent approved; the State Board, 38.2 percent disapproved, and 27.7 percent approved. 

Here is a link to the complete report. 

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