In a new poll, commissioned by the Pre-K for PA campaign and conducted by Harrisburg-based Harper Polling, there is a strong consensus, 94% in fact, that say early childhood education is important for Pennsylvania. Further, 75% of likely voters support increased state funding to expand access to high-quality, publicly-funded pre-k. This is an increase in supportive voters compared to a 2013 poll where that number was only 63%.
Additionally, nearly two-thirds of likely Pennsylvania voters said they would support a tax increase to expand pre-k access. 64% of Pennsylvanians said they would pay an extra $50 in taxes to fund pre-k. Again, this number has grown since the 2013 poll when only 56 percent of voters said they were will to pay more in taxes to fund pre-k.
“Pennsylvanians value pre-k education for its proven benefits to each child fortunate enough to attend a high-quality pre-k, and they’re willing to dig a little deeper into their own pockets to support expanded access for kids across the commonwealth,”said Joan Benso, President and CEO of Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children, a founding partner of Pre-K for PA. “Pennsylvania prospers when children succeed and pre-k is a key element in each child’s success.”
According to the poll, every single voting demographic in the state favors expanded access to pre-k by at least a two-to-one margin. Seniors favor it by more than a three-to-one margin. Conservatives are for expanded access at a rate of two-to-one.
The additional $40 million in the 2018-19 budget proposal, if fully funded, will expand access to publicly funded pre-k to more than 4,400 new students. Currently more than 106,000 eligible children do not have access to high-quality, publicly funded pre-k due to limited state funding.
Since the inception of the Pre-K for PA Campaign, the commonwealth’s investment in publicly funded pre-k has increased by $100 million, but lags far behind many neighboring states. Today, Pennsylvania ranks 18th of the 30 states investing in high-quality, publicly funded pre-k.
You can view the full poll results here.
To learn more about the Pre-K for Pa campaign and become a supporter, please visit their website.