A new statewide survey shows the public wants lawmakers to beef up pre-school education and improve the quality of teachers.
The Ann Arbor Think Tank Center for Michigan compiled thousands of interviews and data and discovered that politicians are on the right track concerning early childhood education and improving the quality of teachers. In fact, 68 percent say it is not only critical and important, but needs to be done.
"It's a pleasant surprise to see a compelling public mandate for early childhood education," said John Bebow with the Center for Michigan. "It's a quick win because the public is behind the politicians and no one is going to be voted out of office for helping four year olds get an early education."
80 percent believe improving teacher preparation is also very important. One other finding jumps out: low income and African American respondents some 50 percent, were much more critical of the education system.
"In some of our toughest areas there is a great need for school improvement from students and parents alike. There is a real sense of jurgney with some of our failing schools," said Bebow.
With the governor poised to pump more state tax dollars into the k-12 system, the researchers suggest the voters favor that. But there is a catch.
"70 percent are willing to spend more money if it's spent on the right things. They are not willing to spend if it means just throwing money at the current system. But more money for better teachers and pre-school, they are willing to do," said Ken Sikkema with the Public Sector Consultants.
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