- A survey of 1,000 likely 2020 voters conducted by the National School Boards Action Center found a majority of voters across the political spectrum would not vote for a candidate in favor of taking away public school funds to fund private, religious and home school educations.
- A majority of Democrats (66%) and a significant number of Republicans (43%) as well as Independent voters (49%) agree charter schools should be required to follow the same rules and regulations as public schools. Almost two-thirds of those surveyed, including a majority of Democrats and a little less than half of surveyed Republicans, said funding for public schools should be increased, but less than half (41%) of the voters overall said school funding would be a deciding factor in their vote.
- Among top priorities for voters were addressing school safety and teaching students real-world skills, followed by improving teacher quality and training, and funding.
Notable from the results were not where Democrats and Republicans diverged, but that support for keeping public funding in public schools, rather than expanding it for private and religious schools, crossed the aisle.
Chip Slaven, chief advocacy officer for the National School Boards Action Center, said while results suggesting bipartisan support for increased public school funding "weren't shocking" considering growing trends already pointing in that direction, he was "pleasantly surprised" with how strong the support was.
"The world has changed from where it used to be," Slaven said, pointing to other issues in public education that have brought opposing parties together in the past few years, including efforts to increase teacher pay and adequately prepare students for the changing workforce. "People are starting to see the need and the importance of their local schools — and for those to be successful, public education in general needs to be successful."
Another area of strong public support, Slaven pointed out, was addressing the connectivity gap and its effect on rural schools. Not only should 2020 candidates address equity in access to technology, Slaven said, but they should also address related policy areas such as infrastructure and budgets that influence technology availability for all students.