Georgians support the notion of equality in public schools, even to the extent of redistributing property tax revenue to support public schools in less affluent counties, according to a Peach State Poll.
Conducted by UGA’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government, the poll found that 81 percent of Georgians believe that all Georgia schools should have an equal amount of resources and 62 percent would favor redistributing property taxes-from wealthier counties to poorer counties-toward equalizing school resources.
In spite of public support for equal resources for public schools, the public believes that resources alone will not result in an equal quality of education.
“Most Georgians believe that school performance is not entirely about funding,” says Rich Clark, poll director. “Georgians are about as likely to cite the home life of students and the fact that some communities just care more about public education than others as the reasons for differences in education quality.”
He also points out that the public rates high parental involvement as the most important factor in explaining school success and low parental involvement as the most important factor in explaining poor performance in schools.
Other Peach State Poll results:
- Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of the public believes that the state should bear the primary cost for public education, as opposed to local communities (11 percent) or the parents of students (13 percent).
- Parents of public school children give public schools a higher average grade (average grade of B-) than do members of the public without children in the system (average grade of C).
- Forty-six percent of the public believes that standardized tests are not a good measure of achievement, while 39 percent say that they are a good measure.