Teachers remain highly valued by Duval County resident according to the Jacksonville Public Education Fund’s Annual Public Education Perceptions Poll, which measures community opinion. This year, the poll intentionally oversampled parents in an effort to learn more about their involvement in schools and gain insight into their unique perspectives.
Community members overwhelmingly selected (39.1%) “attracting and keeping high quality teachers” as the most important priority for Duval County’s next superintendent. This is why initiatives such as the 27th Annual Florida Blue Duval County Teacher of the Year EDDY Awards are so important. Like a classic song, a great book or a work of art -- Great Teachers are Timeless -- they lay the groundwork for what our city is and what it has the potential to be. The EDDY Awards is scheduled for Feb. 2 and tickets for this year’s event can be purchased here.
Respondents also reported that when deciding where to enroll a child or grandchild in a school, the reputation for good teachers matters most (41.6%). It makes sense then that community members across all subgroups (race, political affiliation, age, etc.) believe that the starting salary for Duval County teachers should be higher than the current salary of $39,500. On average, respondents think a first-year teacher with a Bachelor’s degree should earn $48,173.58. Millennials (ages 18-34), who are entering the workforce, believe it should be over $50,000.
Among the other key findings:
The support for a small increase in taxes if the funds go towards public education continues to increase, up from 74% last year to 75%.
There was substantially more “Don’t Know” responses this year, especially in relation to the school board and superintendent.
Only three in five respondents know about the ongoing superintendent search.
Ninety-three percent (93%) of parents were unable to name the school board representative for their respective district.
Nearly half of respondents do not yet know how to rate Superintendent Willis.
Education remains the second most important issue, behind crime, facing Jacksonville
Respondents continue to rate the district’s performance well but do not see significant improvement over the last year
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 early January. The sample of 698 adults, including 301 parents, 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.