With a new school year now underway in Alaska and across the nation, a record high 63% of Americans now say they are dissatisfied with the state of public education, according to a recent national Gallup poll. The loss of faith in public schools cuts across political divides with 74% of Republican-leaning respondents and 55% of Democratic-leaning respondents saying they are “completely” or “somewhat” dissatisfied.
Gallup predicts the low satisfaction levels may fuel the trend of parents choosing alternative schooling options for their children. This is playing out in Alaska and throughout the nation with a massive growth in correspondence, homeschooling and private school options. Many school districts, in fact, are desperately attempting to keep students through added correspondence/homeschool options.
According to Gallup, just 21% of Republicans say they are “somewhat satisfied,” while 44% of Democrats say the same. Overall, only 36% of Americans are satisfied with the state of U.S. schooling. That matches the all-time low, dating back 24 years.
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“Lower satisfaction from Republicans and Republican-leaning independents since Joe Biden became president has driven the overall decline in ratings of the nation’s K-12 education quality,” Gallup reported. “The 25% of Republicans who say they are at least somewhat satisfied with U.S. education is the lowest recorded for the group, five points below the previous low recorded last year and about half of what it was in 2019 and 2020.”
The discrepancies between Democrat and Republican leaning Americans are a stark contrast to responses in 2000, when there was little difference between partisan satisfaction levels.
The Gallup results are based on telephone interviews conducted August 1-23, with a random sample of 1,014 adults, ages 18 and older who live in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. The margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.