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The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

April 2, 2013 at 4:54 PM

Education group poll: Voters support grading schools, adding money

A group pushing for changes in education has commissioned a poll showing public backing for moves it supports — a finding quickly rejected by opponents.

For example, the poll found that 66 percent of Washington state voters support giving an A-F letter grade to schools “based on how well students are learning.” Only 29 percent opposed the idea.

That concept passed the state Senate last month but hasn’t gotten a committee vote in the state House.

Another finding — important as the Senate and House prepare to release their budgets — was that voters split 49 percent to 46 percent on whether to increase taxes to give more money to education.

The poll of 402 residents, conducted last week by Strategies 360, is scheduled to be released Wednesday by Stand for Children. That organization, which supports letter grading and increased funding, paid for the poll.

“It’s clear that voters want both funding and improvements and accountability measures,” said Anne Martens, a spokeswoman for the group.

A spokesman for the state teachers union, which opposes grades but supports increased funding, said he’s “not sure how much credence to put in polling from groups that have a clear agenda.” The spokesman, Rich Wood added that “Every teacher, and I think, every parent who has a kid in school knows that overcrowded classes are the biggest problem facing our schools.”

Here’s a breakdown of the state budget and school-funding challenges, as reported by Seattle Times staff. And, ask, how would you pay for  education and what choices would you make to balance the state budget?  Build your budget here.

0 Comments | More in State Legislature | Topics: poll, Rich Wood, school grading

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