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Colorado 2022 Public Education Survey Part 2

Magellan Strategies are pleased to present part two of our Colorado public education survey. Please visit our Surveys for School Districts webpage to learn more about our services for public education organizations. The interviews were conducted from April 26th through May 1st, 2022. This survey has a +/- 3.3% margin of error at the 95 percent confidence interval.

The survey data were weighted to be representative of the voter registration demographics within the state of Colorado. The survey questions were developed in collaboration with Chalkbeat Colorado. We sincerely appreciate their thoughts and insights regarding important topics related to public education in Colorado. 

Voter Opinion of Charter Schools

  • Among all respondents, 52% have a favorable opinion of charter schools, 30% have an unfavorable opinion, and 18% have no opinion. Among households with a student, 65% have a favorable opinion of charter schools compared to 46% of respondent households that do not have a student.
  • There are dramatic differences in charter school favorability ratings by party affiliation. Seventy-nine percent of Republican voters favor charter schools, followed by 47% of Unaffiliated voters, and just 36% of Democratic voters have a favorable opinion of charter schools. Among Hispanic voters, just 43% have a favorable opinion of charter schools compared to 49% of African American respondents.   
  • Respondents were asked if they thought charter schools were funded by their local school district in a true or false question format. Among all respondents, 40% said it was a true statement, 29% said it was false, and 30% were unsure or did not have an opinion. Interesting outliers to this question included urban men (30% true/35% false) compared to urban women (49% true/24% false), Denver (52% true/19% false), Douglas County (57% true/25% false), and El Paso County 31% True/42% false.)

Voter Opinion of the Difference Between a Charter School and a District Run School

Respondents were asked what they thought the differences are between a charter school and a district-run school. Many of the comments have a positive or negative tone representing their political affiliation or age group. For example, many Republican and Republican-leaning respondents praise charter schools as having more freedom, higher standards, and being free from a biased and liberal agenda.

Among Democratic respondents, charter schools are for-profit entities that restrict enrollment and do not serve all students in a school district. Furthermore, Democratic voters believe charter schools take money away from families and children in need. However, many respondents have less biased opinions and believe charter schools have more freedom in their curriculum and few state requirements than public schools.

Voter Opinion of Charter Schools Weakening District Schools by Diverting Funding

A plurality of respondents, 45%, disagree with the viewpoint that charter schools weaken district-run schools by diverting students and funding, and 40% agree. The table below shows responses by voter subgroup.

Some people say charter schools weaken district-run schools by diverting students and funding. Do you agree or disagree with this viewpoint?

Response All Voters Men Women Unaf. Dem Rep 18-44 45-64 65+ Stud. in HH No Stud. in HH
Agree
40%
40%
39%
39%
62%
17%
44%
32%
39%
27%
45%
Disagree
45%
46%
45%
41%
24%
76%
35%
58%
51%
57%
40%
No Opinion
15%
14%
16%
20%
14%
7%
21%
10%
10%
16%
5%

A Majority Oppose a Policy That Would Allow School Districts to Prevent New Charter Schools

A majority of voters oppose a policy that would allow school districts to prevent new charter schools from opening, so they do not compete with existing run schools.

Many school districts in Colorado are facing declining student enrollment and closing schools. Knowing this, do you support or oppose a policy that would allow school districts to prevent new charter schools from opening so they do not compete with existing district-run schools?

Response All Voters Men Women Unaf. Dem Rep 18-44 45-64 65+ Stud. in HH No Stud. in HH
Support
33%
35%
32%
32%
53%
13%
37%
26%
34%
22%
38%
Oppose
54%
54%
54%
53%
30%
83%
49%
61%
54%
68%
48%
No Opinion
13%
11%
14%
15%
17%
4%
14%
13%
12%
12%
14%

Voters Overwhelmingly Support Broader Standards to Evaluate School Performance

Among all respondents, 70% think the state should develop a broader set of standards and criteria to evaluate a school’s performance. Only 23% believe schools should continue to be judged primarily on standardized student test scores. Nearly nine in ten Democratic voters, 88%, think the state should use a broader set of standards, compared to 69% of Unaffiliated voters and 52% of Republicans.

Voters Evenly Split on Policy Allowing the State to Intervene in Low-Performing Districts

A plurality of voters, 44%, support a policy that allows the state to intervene in low-performing school districts and have the legal right to close schools or convert them to charter schools. Forty percent oppose the policy, and 16% do not have an opinion. Among Hispanic voters, 50% support the policy, compared to just 31% of African Americans.

Voter Opinion of Four Day School Weeks

  • Among all respondents, 48% have a favorable opinion of four-day school weeks, and 42% have an unfavorable opinion. Favorable opinions of four-day school weeks are strongest among voters aged 18 to 34 (65%), rural voters (52%), urban women (55%), African Americans (70%), and respondents without a college degree (57%). Unfavorable opinions are strongest among households with incomes of $150K or more (51%), male seniors aged 65 or older (62%), and Republicans (53%).  
  • A majority of respondents, 52%, believe four-day school weeks reflect how local communities want to manage their public education system. Thirty-one percent believe four-day school weeks provide a lower-quality education for students, and 17% of respondents did not have an opinion.

Strong Voter Support for Allocating 0.33% of State Revenue Toward Education Fund

Among all respondents, two-thirds said they would vote yes and approve a ballot measure that would allocate 0.33% of all state revenue or about $983.9 million toward the state education fund in the 2023-2024 budget year. Just 22% of voters would oppose it, and 14% were undecided.

One ballot measure would direct the state legislature to allocate 0.33% of annual revenue received by the state from individuals, corporations, estate, and trust federal taxable income to the state education fund. This ballot measure would not raise taxes and is estimated to allocate $983.9 million in the 2023-2024 budget year toward public education. Furthermore, this revenue would not be subject to the TABOR amendment, meaning the state would be able to keep and retain these funds in fiscal years when a TABOR refund is paid to taxpayers. If the election were being held today, would you vote yes and approve this ballot measure or vote no and reject it?

Response All Voters Men Women Unaf. Dem Rep 18-44 45-64 65+ Stud. in HH No Stud. in HH
Approve
64%
63%
65%
61%
82%
51%
67%
60%
61%
60%
66%
Reject
22%
23%
20%
24%
9%
30%
15%
28%
27%
28%
19%
Undecided
14%
14%
15%
15%
9%
19%
18%
12%
12%
12%
15%

Voters Evenly Split on Ballot Measure to Cap Property Valuations to 3% a Year

The survey measured voter support and opposition for a ballot measure that would have capped residential and commercial property valuations to 3% a year.

Another ballot measure, if approved by voters, would cap the growth of residential and commercial property valuations to 3% a year. This ballot measure aims to reduce the cost of rising property tax bills due to surging home and commercial property values in Colorado. However, residential, and commercial property taxes are primary funding sources for public schools, special districts (fire, library, recreation), and local governments. An analysis from the non-partisan Director of Research of the Legislative Council estimated the decline in property tax revenue to these entities in the 2023-2024 budget year would be $1.3 billion.

The analysis states the following: “This measure will decrease property taxes for homeowners and nonresidential property owners, increasing the money that households will save or spend…. The measure will also decrease revenue to cities, counties, special districts, and school districts, resulting in lower levels of local government services, including police and fire protection, hospital, transportation, education, and library, among other services.”

If the election were being held today, would you vote yes and approve this ballot measure or vote no and reject it?

Response All Voters Men Women Unaf. Dem Rep 18-44 45-64 65+ Stud. in HH No Stud. in HH
Approve
40%
51%
30%
40%
28%
53%
38%
47%
41%
43%
39%
Reject
43%
39%
48%
42%
60%
28%
44%
38%
45%
43%
44%
Undecided
17%
10%
22%
18%
12%
19%
18%
15%
14%
14%
17%

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted by sending an MMS text messages to a database of Colorado voters, inviting them to participate in the survey. The survey response data was weighted to reflect the voter registration demographics for the state of Colorado. The interviews were conducted from April 26th through May 1st, 2022. This survey has a +/- 3.3% margin of error at the 95 percent confidence interval. Please contact David Flaherty by email for any questions regarding this survey at DFlaherty@MagellanStrategies.com.

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