Florida: New Poll Spells Trouble for Teacher Unions

Published June 10, 2008

Karla Dial writes this morning:

If the results of a poll released last week are any indication, Floridians are sick and tired of their education dollars being spent on teachers union dues and other administrative costs rather than teaching children.

According to a poll of 1,625 Florida voters released June 1 by Quinnipiac University, only 38 percent support a constitutional amendment on this November’s ballot to allow a statewide universal school voucher program. The Florida Supreme Court found the five-year-old Opportunity Scholarship Program unconstitutional in 2005, under a clause in the state constitution requiring a “uniform” education for all students.

However, earlier this year, the state’s Taxation and Budget Reform Commission placed that issue and several others directly on the November ballot for voters to decide. The commission married the voucher program with another proposal mandating that schools spend at least 65 percent of their funding directly on classroom instruction. As a result, Quinnipiac University pollsters found, support for the voucher amendment jumped to 63 percent.

The Florida Education Association has vowed to fight the voucher amendment in a ballot campaign — and, if necessary, in court. Florida’s constitution is the most difficult to amend nationwide. Every proposal must meet a single-subject requirement and be approved by 60 percent of voters instead of a simple majority.

For more information, contact Karla Dial by email at [email protected].

For further reading, visit PolicyBot, Heartland’s online database of more than 20,000 public policy articles, research documents, and commentary pieces, and browse to Education/Opinion Polls, Education/Teachers Unions, or Education/Vouchers.

Nothing in this news release is intended to influence the passage of legislation, and it does not necessarily represent the views of The Heartland Institute. For further information on this and other topics, visit The Heartland Institute’s Web site at http://www.heartland.org and PolicyBot, Heartland’s free online research database.

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