There’s at least one issue that’s received bi-partisan support in Georgia leading up to Tuesday’s election: early education. A recent poll from the Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students (GEEARS) shows –regardless of party — voters generally support the use of public money to support education for young children.
The poll surveyed 600 likely voters who identified as Republicans, Democrats, or Independents. The margin of error is +/- 4.
66 percent of respondents said they’d be open to paying higher taxes if they knew the money would go toward early education programs. When asked whether it is “very important,” “not important,” or “somewhat important” to ensure working parents can find quality, affordable childcare for infants and toddlers, 51 percent of Republicans, 57 percent of Independents, and 83 percent of Democrats chose ‘very important.’
A majority of those surveyed said state and local governments are best positioned to come up with solutions to help parents find childcare.
“We know that polls just give us a snapshot of voter sentiment, but they’re a really good way for us to measure and identify opportunities and challenges and share what Georgians think about early learning and young kids,” said GEEARS Executive Director Mindy Binderman. “One thing we learned is that early childhood issues resonate with Georgia voters.”
A question about making sure children are well-prepared for Kindergarten also drew bi-partisan support. 51 percent of Republicans, 58 of Independents and 77 percent of Democrats said it is “very important.”
When asked whether the state should put the same level of priority on education for children ages 0-4 as it does for children in the K-12 system, 65 percent of respondents agreed, with 41 percent saying they “strongly agree.” 80 percent of respondents also support continued use of lottery funds to pay for Georgia’s public Pre-Kindergarten program. That trend has held steady since GEEARS started polling voters in 2010.
Binderman said firms North Star Opinion Research and EMC Research, which conducted the polls, said of the results: “There are few policies in any area over the last decade that have seen such overwhelming, durable, bi-partisan support in this polarized and cynical time.”
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