California’s public education system’s report card is improving, according to a majority of parents recently surveyed.
A Public Policy Institute of California poll found 70% of public school parents and 57% of adults surveyed thought the public education system was headed in the right direction. That’s an increase from last year when only 61% of public school parents felt this way.
The poll garnered similar results among public school parents (73%) and adults (60%) when asked if they approved of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s handling of the K-12 public education system.
Predictably, most Democrats and independents said they approved of Gov. Newsom’s leadership of public education whereas most Republicans disapproved.
Most public school parents also signaled approval for how their children’s schools were preparing them for college. The survey found 14% of public school parents said the local schools were doing an “excellent” job, and another 63% called their performance “good.”
But about 49% of public school parents said there are not enough resources for lower-income students — a similar finding to what last year’s poll revealed.
And about 40% of those surveyed thought the quality of education has declined over the past few years, the survey found.
More than four in 10 parents said they believed their youngest child had fallen behind in school during the COVID-19 pandemic. This was more likely among Latino parents (52%) than white parents (38%).
Most public school parents and adults in general supported the state’s decision to no longer require masks in schools. About 43% of public school parents said they strongly supported the decision, and another 31% said they somewhat supported the decision. Among adults in general, those figures were 32% and 29% respectively.
Among public school parents, 62% said they believe teacher salaries are too low. And 49% of this group said teacher shortages are a big problem with an additional 44% of public school parents saying it is somewhat an issue.
The PPIC surveyed 1,591 California adults from March 30 to April 13. The survey was conducted by Ipsos in English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean. The survey had a sampling error of +/-3.3% at the 95% confidence level.
The full findings can be found at: ppic.org/publication/ppic-statewide-survey-californians-and-education-april-2022.