Support for increasing school funding and teacher pay drops when people find out current levels of funding and pay are much higher than they assume, an Education Next survey finds. People also become less confident that spending more will improve education outcomes.
William G. Howell of the University of Chicago and Martin R. West of Brown University found the average per-pupil spending estimate from respondents to the 2008 Education Next/PEPG survey was $4,231, while average spending exceeded $10,000. Respondents estimated teachers earn an average of $33,000; the real average is $47,000.
Less than 1 in 10 respondents knew that charter schools may neither charge tuition nor provide religious instruction.
Forty-nine percent of conservatives and 36 percent of liberals who were not provided information supported charter schools. But when they were told that charter schools are tuition-free and secular, support dropped among conservatives by 6 percentage points and
increased among liberals by 11 percentage points. Indeed, when provided information, liberals were 4 percent more likely to support charter schools than were conservatives.
Kind of weird.