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Super-majority of parents support more funding in public schools, higher pay for educators, according to national PDK poll

Poll results point to the continued importance of #RedforEd movement

WASHINGTON - August 06, 2019 -

The 51st annual PDK Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools finds that Americans overwhelmingly support increasing investments in our public schools: six in 10 parents say their schools are underfunded, and 74 percent say they support a strike by teachers for higher pay. The poll also finds that educators are fed up as 60% of teachers say they’re unfairly paid and 75% of teachers say their community’s schools are underfunded.

These results further illustrate how closely parents and educators are aligned in fighting for the schools our students deserve, and the continued importance of the national #RedforEd movement.

“Over the last several years, hundreds of thousands of NEA members and parents have stood together for the public schools our students deserve, creating the nationwide #RedForEd movement that has won increased investments in students in states across the nation,” said NEA President Lily Eskelsen García. “And yet, while the #RedForEd movement has helped more students and educators get the support they need, today’s PDK Poll should remind everyone that there is still so much more work to be done to correct the years of inadequate funding of our public schools.”

Key findings of the 51st annual PDK Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools include:

Seventy-five percent of teachers say the schools in their community are underfunded. Fifty-eight percent say they’d vote to strike for higher funding for school programs, and 52% say they’d vote to strike for greater teacher say in academic policies on standards, testing, and the curriculum.
Parents and the public overall stand with them; 74% of parents and 71% of all adults say they would support a strike by teachers in their community for higher pay. Even more — 83% of parents and 79% of all adults — say they’d support teachers striking for a greater voice in academic policies. Similarly high percentages of teachers say they would support teachers in their own communities if they went on strike for any of these reasons.
Six in 10 parents and all adults, and 75% of teachers, say their community’s schools have too little money…Further, in an open-ended question, 25% of all adults say inadequate financial support is the biggest problem facing the public schools today. It’s far and away the top-cited problem, with all other responses in the single digits.
60% of teachers say they’re unfairly paid, and 55% say they’d vote to go on strike for higher pay.
"Our public school teachers and education support professionals deserve to be paid like the professionals that they are," Eskelsen García added. "Low educator pay comes at a very high cost. To recruit and retain talented teachers for the long haul we have to pay them what they’re worth. In the end, it’s students who pay the price for low teacher salaries.”

PDK Educational Foundation has conducted an annual poll every year since 1969 to offer an independent and unbiased report of American public opinion. PDK produces the annual poll as part of its mission to engage educators and serve schools so that every student thrives. The poll serves as an opportunity for parents, educators, and legislators to assess public opinion about public schools.

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing nearly 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers. Learn more at

CONTACT: Eric Jotkoff  
(202) 822-7355,