The results from an exclusive News on 6 poll, conducted by SoonerPoll.com, indicate that a majority of voters support changing the way money is allocated – and even changing the state constitution, if that’s what it takes.
Bill Shapard from SoonerPoll says, “I think people look at this and say, ‘that’s a crisis.’”
Right now, money collected from property taxes can only go toward construction or renovation of schools, or to buy furniture.
A combined 63.5 percent of voters say they support putting that money toward teacher salaries. Thirty percent say they strongly support that change.
“What people are basically saying is…teachers are just as big a part of that school as the equipment, the desks, the classrooms,” said Shapard.
It’s the same story for changing the state constitution so school land office monies could fund teacher salaries. 53.2 percent are in strong support of this.
Shapard says, “I think that most people know instinctively that if there is something in our constitution that’s based upon some sort of old idea of the way to fund this or that, and it doesn’t fit with today’s current model, they want to change it.”
With a statewide school shutdown looming, SoonerPoll.com says Oklahomans are ready for solutions.
“Keep in mind, if this thing were to go two weeks and we go and survey them again, they may say something completely different to us,” stated Shapard.
More than 70 percent of people surveyed say they support a school shutdown, but when it comes to state workers striking in support of schools, voters are split with 49 percent in support, 45 percent opposed, and 6 percent undecided.