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2
2017

RESEARCH
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AFT poll shows opposition to federal funding cuts to education

By Nikki Yamashiro

The clear message coming out of a recent national poll on attitudes toward federal education spending is that voters are overwhelmingly opposed to the federal government cutting funds for public education.

In the poll, conducted by Hart Research Associates for the American Federation of Teachers, close to 3 in 4 voters say that they are opposed to the Trump administration’s proposal to cut federal spending on education by 13.5 percent while “cutting taxes for large corporations and wealthy individuals” and 73 percent say that they find this to be an unacceptable way to reduce spending by the federal government. When asked about the proposed elimination of funding for afterschool and summer learning programs, more than 7 in 10 voters responded that it was an unacceptable cut.

In addition to more than 3 in 5 voters reporting that the federal government spends too little on public education, a strong majority of voters voiced their opposition to a number of the administration’s proposed cuts to the education budget, including the following:

  • 80 percent of voters say that it is unacceptable to cut programs and services for students with disabilities
  • 73 percent of voters say that it is unacceptable to eliminate funding for afterschool and summer learning programs
  • 72 percent of voters say that it is unacceptable to eliminate funding for community schools
  • 71 percent of voters say that it is unacceptable to eliminate funding that public schools use for teacher training and professional development
  • Almost 7 in 10 of voters say that it is unacceptable to reduce spending on vocational and job-training programs by cutting $168 million from career and technical education
  • 68 percent of voters say that it is unacceptable to reduce spending on Medicaid by 25 percent, which pays for school-based health services such as physical therapists and health screenings
  • 74 percent of voters overall oppose the administration’s proposed cuts to education while reducing taxes on large corporations and wealthy individuals, including 98 percent of Democrats, 75 percent of Independents, and 55 percent of Republican women

Similar to a March 2017 national poll by Quinnipiac University that found that 83 percent of voters agreed that cutting funding for afterschool and summer learning programs is a bad idea, this poll illustrates the strong public support behind federal funding for afterschool.

If you‘re interested in learning how you can get involved to show your support for afterschool and summer learning programs, visit our Take Action page.