JACKSONVILLE, Fla – It's rare when residents overwhelmingly favor a tax increase for any reason, but a new study by the Jacksonville Public Education Fund found that 74 percent of Duval County residents surveyed would favor a small increase if they could be assured that the money would go to public education.
About a quarter of the 510 adults surveyed have children in Duval County Schools. The margin of error for the survey was +/-4.34 percent.
The responses in favor of a tax increase are up 4 percent from last year's survey and the highest positive response in the last four years, but fell within the margin of error from last year's 70 percent positive response.
The question about a tax increase was one among 32 responses shared from the survey.
Some other findings from the survey include overwhelming positive perception of the effectiveness of Duval County Public School teachers. Nearly 87 percent of respondents perceived teachers to be wither very effective or somewhat effective. Over 76 percent of parents replied that their child's current school was very effective or somewhat effective in helping to improve public education in Jacksonville, while 32 percent of residents said teachers were the most significant factor in determining where they would enroll a child or grandchild, followed by test scores and school grades at 26 percent.
Local nonprofits also were generally well received with over 63 percent of respondents saying that those organizations were very effective or somewhat effective in improving public education in Jacksonville, although, the "very effective" responses were down by nearly 4 percent from last year.
For the second straight year, the perceived graduation rate fell well below the actual graduation rate for Duval County Public Schools. Survey participants thought the graduation rate was 62 percent, when last year's rate was actually 79 percent, up 16 points from the 2010-11 school year.
The Survey was conducted by the Jacksonville Public Education fund, an independent nonprofit organization that works to connect research with civic voice to bring about unified action in support of universally high-quality public schools for all children in Duval County.
The full report with survey questions, raw data, graphics and interactive visualizations is available at jaxpef.com.