Poll shows support for local school districts

Part 2 of an EPIC-MRA statewide survey shows that while 52 percent of Michigan voters offered a negative rating on the quality of Michigan public schools overall, 62 percent gave a positive rating for the quality of education in their own local public school district.

Part 1 of the survey addressed issues in the Senate package of so-called "education reforms" in SB 618-624.

The survey polled 800 voters during the week of Sept. 14-20 on issues such as education quality, school funding, and the direction of the state and was commissioned by MEA.

In terms of financial issues, 51 percent said their local schools get too little funding, while 77 percent said school employee pay was either "too low" or "about right." That runs contrary to the popular mantra about overpaid teachers and support staff -- only 13 percent actually believe pay is too high.

And, despite constant attacks and vilification in Lansing, public opinion of MEA has remained steady with prior polling, with 41 percent having a favorable opinion and 38 percent unfavorable (with 18 percent unsure). On the other hand, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, which has been a vocal critic of MEA and a champion of the Snyder business tax break, saw their favorability drop 14 points to 31 percent.