Thursday, December 17, 2015

New KPI poll shows Kansans have more confidence in local government than in the state

The following post presents research or analyses from outside KASB and is presented for information purposes.  KASB neither endorses nor refutes the conclusions or recommendations contained herein.
A new poll released by KPI this month shows that 25% of respondents agreed with the statement “Kansas state government operates pretty efficiently and makes effective use of my tax dollars,” whereas 45% agreed with the statement “Local government operates pretty efficiently and makes effective use of my tax dollars.”  

The poll contained 15 questions, many of which were aimed to see how much knowledge the respondents had about school funding, asking such questions as “How much funding per pupil do you think Kansas school districts currently receive from ALL taxpayer sources per year, including State, Federal and Local taxpayers?” and “Over the last 5 years, how much do you think total per-pupil funding has changed?”

Other questions were targeted very specifically, such as two that began with “Hypothetically speaking, if total taxpayer support of Kansas public schools were more than $13,000 per-pupil and school districts had also used more than 350 million of state and local taxes to increase cash reserves, how much would you agree or disagree with this statement…”  

Based on the premise above, the two statements given were “Funding for other state agencies should be reduced in order to give more money to local school districts” and “I would be willing to pay higher taxes in order to give more money to local school districts.”  Interestingly, 48% agreed with the first statement and 41% agreed with the second; compared to 39% and 50% that disagreed with each.  

Still others were based on data or premises that could be called into question, such as “Spending on out-of-the-classroom expenses - administration, building operations, transport, and food service - varies among Kansas school districts, up to as much as $8,000 per pupil” and “If an individual school district wants to spend more than is necessary to provide the same function or service, or add extras like retiree health care…”  

For more specific results from the poll, visit SurveyUSA’s site here.  

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