Indiana University

News Release

Wednesday, February 2, 2005

Last modified: Wednesday, February 2, 2005

Majority of Hoosiers pleased with their schools, think K-12 schools under-funded

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Full-day kindergarten draws more support

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana's public K-12 schools are under-funded, a majority of respondents to an Indiana University public opinion survey reported. Not only did a high percentage of Indiana citizens report that school funding levels affect the quality of education students receive, but an increasing percentage of citizens (58 percent compared to 49 percent the previous year) reported a willingness to pay higher taxes to increase school funding.

Support for full-day kindergarten received a boost, too, with 61 percent of survey respondents reporting they would pay more taxes, if necessary, to fund a statewide full-day kindergarten program, compared to only 46 percent indicating such willingness in the previous year.

These are just some of the findings from the 2004 Public Opinion Survey on Education in Indiana, conducted by the Center for Evaluation and Education Policy at Indiana University Bloomington. CEEP officials presented the findings to the Indiana State Board of Education today (Feb. 2). The survey, conducted in November before education funding became such a hot state budget issue, is the second in a series of three annual surveys designed to gauge public support and awareness of key federal and state educational policies and issues, such as school funding, testing, charter schools and the federal No Child Left Behind program.

As with the 2003 survey, a majority of respondents reported a high level of overall satisfaction with public schools, particularly their local schools -- 65 percent of Hoosiers reported their community schools were excellent or good, up from 62 percent in 2003's benchmark survey.

"Hoosiers continue to express positive feelings about their schools, especially the local schools with which they are most familiar," said Jonathan Plucker, director of the Center for Evaluation and Education Policy and lead researcher for the poll. "The survey results suggest broad support for a number of specific education policies, including several aspects of the state's P-16 education initiative. However, Indiana residents also see areas in need of improvement."

The preliminary report on the survey findings can be seen at Here are some of the highlights:

The survey reports the results of 612 telephone interviews from a random sample of Indiana households. The margin of error is plus or minus 4 percent.

CEEP promotes and supports rigorous program evaluation and policy research primarily, but not exclusively, for education, human services and non-profit organizations. Its research uses both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. To learn more about CEEP, go to

Plucker can be reached at 812-325-7608 on Wednesday (Feb. 2). On Thursday and Friday, he can be reached at 812-855-4438 and

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