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Poll: Pa. voters want school finances to be more transparent

A poll commissioned by Students First found 84 percent of Pennsylvania voters support creating a public database of school revenue and expenses.

school district of philadelphia Credit: Rikard Larma / Metro

The majority of Pennsylvania voters want more transparency when it comes to school finances and support the creation of a public database detailing school revenues and spending, according to a poll commissioned by educational nonprofit Students First and conducted by The Tarrance Group.

The poll, conducted Oct. 8 to 10 through a telephone survey of 500 randomly sampled voters in the state, found 84 percent of respondents support the measure.

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"This is clearly a reform that enjoys broad, strong, and diverse support among Pennsylvania voters," The Tarrance Group wrote in a memo accompanying their findings.

"It has the support of fully 84% of Pennsylvania voters, including 59% who "strongly" favor. Support for this database crosses all political, ideological, and geographic lines."

The report further found the majority of voters were in favor of tenure reform – 70 percent of voters supported tying teacher tenure to effectiveness.

Sixty-eight percent of voters supported making personnel decisions based on teachers' effectiveness, rather than their length of service.

"Education continues to be a priority for citizens across the Commonwealth. They believe that commonsense reforms are needed to ensure all students receive the education they deserve," Students First Pennsylvania director Ashley DeMauro said in a statement.

"People throughout Pennsylvania – including thousands of StudentsFirst members – are calling for more transparency in our system to ensure funds are being spent in ways that improve student outcomes and for policies that value effective teachers and improve teacher quality."

The poll further found 68 percent of voters surveyed would be more likely to re-elect their legislator if their legislator supported the reforms.

 
 
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