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Annual poll shows big support for increase in teacher salary, growth in uncertainty during transition

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Jan. 19, 2018 — Duval County residents support significant increases in teacher salary but are uncertain about who is making the decisions at the district level, according to results of the Jacksonville Public Education Funds Annual Public Education Perceptions Poll.

A new question found that more than half of respondents think Duval County public school teachers with a Bachelor's degree should come in at a higher salary. The poll also found increasing support for the attraction and retention of high quality teachers, naming this as the most important priority for the next superintendent. 

However, most respondents are uncertain about how to get involved at the decision-making level. A new question this year asked poll respondents who identified as parents what activities they participated in: SAC, PTA, volunteering at a school, attend a school board meeting or contact a school board representative. 

The majority (74.6 percent) of Duval parents have not attended a school board meeting or contacted a school board member (73 percent). In fact, 93.8 percent of parents do not know the name of the board representative for their district.   

Among other key findings: 

  • The community thought that the annual salary of a first-year teacher with a Bachelors degree was lower than it actually is, but still supported increases to that starting salary
  • Millennials suggested a higher starting teacher salary than the 65 and over generation. Here is a breakdown of suggested starting salary by age group: 
    • Ages 18-24: Average = $51,963.69
    • Ages 25-34: Average = $50,583.97
    • Ages 65 and over:  Average = $43,888.78
  • About 75 percent of respondents said they would "strongly support" or "somewhat support" a small increase in taxes if the funds went to public education needs.
  • The most parental engagement seems to be around volunteering at a school other than chaperoning a class field trip or party More parents are involved in volunteering at schools than in leadership or district activities, as previously mentioned.

The poll was sponsored, funded, and analyzed by the Jacksonville Public Education Fund, and conducted by the Public Opinion Research Laboratory at the University of North Florida in late November. The sample of 698 adults was selected from the target population of Duval County adults (18 years or older) through the use of Random-Digit-Dialing methodology for both landlines and cell phones. The margin of sampling error for this survey was +/- 3.71 percent.

See interactive visualizations of the data online here. 

Click here to download the Powerpoint presentation from the press conference.

 Download the full report