* Normington Petts poll taken for the Illinois Education Association February 11-21 of 1,000 Illinois adults reached via phone and online. Margin of error was +/-3.1 percent…
Would you say things in Illinois today are generally headed in the RIGHT DIRECTION or would you say things are off on the WRONG TRACK?
RIGHT DIRECTION 41%
WRONG TRACK 51%
DON’T KNOW 7%
The perception of the state is still underwater, but those are the best numbers I’ve seen in quite a long time. The Simon Poll has been showing a steady increase in the state’s “right direction” number since the 2018 election…
* OK, on to the IEA’s press release…
The Illinois Education Association (IEA) today released its third annual State of Education report, the only bipartisan poll asking Illinoisans about all aspects of public schools. There is a teacher shortage and the results show that Illinoisans believe COVID-19 will only make the problem worse. Also, the data show the COVID-19 pandemic has made teaching and learning more difficult, Illinoisans continue to trust educators most when it comes to all school-related matters and there is wide support for IEA’s health and safety related standards for schools during a pandemic.
“The people have spoken. They understand that COVID-19 has been difficult for students, educators and everyone else in our public-school system,” IEA President Kathi Griffin said. “In addition, they also support solutions that will make health and safety a top priority and ensure everyone in our schools is safe.”
Seventy-nine percent of Illinoisans are in favor of the following:
• Establish clear metrics, so districts know when to switch to remote learning to keep students and staff safe;
• Enforce guidance and requirements put forth by the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois State Board of Education, and heed the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control;
• Provide rapid COVID-19 testing in schools so infected students and staff can be identified before they spread the virus;
• Ensure education employees are not forced to work while ill.
The data show that on the whole, the public is very concerned about the teacher shortage and COVID-19 exacerbating the problem.
* Some selected questions and responses…
Do you think that public school teachers in your community are paid too little, too much or about right?
Too little 51%
Too much 12%
About right 31%
(Don’t know) 4%
I support the new law that sets the minimum teacher salary in Illinois at $40,000 per year
As you may know, teachers in Illinois don’t pay into and therefore do not collect Social Security when they retire. Do you think that Illinois teachers should receive their full pension, see their pensions cut some or see their pensions eliminated?
Full pension 73%
Cut some 16%
(Don’t know) 5%
Thinking about public school teachers in Illinois over the last year or so during the pandemic, do you think that teaching during the coronavirus pandemic has been much easier, somewhat easier, somewhat harder, or much harder for teachers?
* Also, respondents were asked to rate these priorities from zero to ten. Here are the “high” ratings, in other words, the percent of those who chose 8-10…
Having high quality public schools 76%
Cleaning up corruption in state government 76%
Lowering taxes 65%
Reforming the state pension systems 49%
Balancing the state budget 65%
Reducing crime 74%
Jobs and economic growth 77%
Reducing racial divisions 63%
Reforming health care 64%
These pension-related responses are not unique to this poll, by the way. People are far more supportive of retirees than some folks would have you think.
More results and crosstabs are here.
* Also, you may have read a Tribune article this week about The COVID States Project’s polling. But the survey’s reporting is incredibly opaque. They only tell you approval numbers for governors and leave out results for disapproval and no opinion (and won’t provide them when asked), which seems silly to me. Also, while they claim the February polling for Illinois had a margin of error of “6,” they don’t disclose how many people were surveyed. And there’s some question about its nonprobability methodology, but that method is picking up adherents these days after some success last year (including with the polling I commissioned).
With that being said…
Ongoing surveys conducted by The COVID States Project, involving researchers from a four-university consortium that includes Northwestern, have monitored public attitudes surrounding the pandemic.
The group found that public approval of Pritzker’s handling of the pandemic has gone from 63.2% in the second half of April, about one month into his issuance of emergency restrictions, to 44.7% in February, the lowest of any sampling period in the survey.
That seems to be the norm…
The average governor has witnessed a small drop in approval since October (dropping from 48% in October to 46% in February, part of a long term decline in governor approval since we began our survey in April, when it was 64%).
However, the project found that Democratic governors tended to see an increase in approval, which Pritzker did not.