Connecticut Poll Finds Majority of Residents Support State Court's Education Funding Ruling

By Zahn, Brian | New Haven Register (New Haven, CT), October 25, 2016 | Go to article overview

Connecticut Poll Finds Majority of Residents Support State Court's Education Funding Ruling


Zahn, Brian, New Haven Register (New Haven, CT)


NEW HAVEN » A majority of Connecticut residents agree with the intentions of a Superior Court judge's ruling in a school funding lawsuit, according to a poll commissioned by the Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now.

Jennifer Alexander, executive director for the education advocacy group ConnCAN, and Danny Franklin, a managing partner with polling firm Benenson Strategy Group, which describes itself online as a "strategic research consultancy" announced Tuesday on a conference call for press that 68 percent of 600 poll respondents agreed with Thomas Moukawsher's ruling in CCJEF v. Rell, which ordered the state legislature to propose, within 180 days, a new, fairer way to allocate school funds to provide a "minimally adequate" education constitutionally owed to all students.

"That's a strong level of support for any public policy," Franklin said.

Of the respondents, 44 percent said they had at least some familiarity with the case. While 68 percent of those polled stated support for Moukawsher's ruling, 20 percent opposed it, with 12 percent not taking a position in support or opposition to his ruling.

Of the 600 respondents, all of whom were selected from public polling data as having participated in the 2014 gubernatorial election, 29 percent said they "support" the ruling, and 39 percent said they "strongly support" the ruling, according to Franklin. Of the respondents, 33 percent identified as Democrat, 21 percent as Republican and 46 percent as independent voters.

Franklin said the poll was conducted from Oct. 5 to Oct. 9, "a month after the ruling was made, giving it a chance to sink in for people who were attentive to these issues and to let the issues underneath it to sink in a bit."

Franklin said although there is a "natural bias toward improvement and change," when respondents were read opinion statements for and against the ruling "as faithful to the literature" as pollsters could manage, support and opposition remained at the same approximate 2-to-1 ratio.

"Voters expect that there are set and consistent rules," Alexander said, "as you know, the reality is there are currently no rules. …

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