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Utahns Strongly Support State Initiatives Aimed at Improving Public Education, Split on Potential Funding Efforts

April 25, 2014 — Results from a recent Dan Jones & Associates and David Eccles School of Business statewide poll indicate 89 percent of Utahns believe the state’s current and future economic performance is directly related to a strong public education system. The results show 98 percent of democrats believe the public education system is directly related to economic progress, compared to 85 percent of republicans and 89 percent of independent voters.

“It’s clear that Utahns see a strong, positive connection between education and economic success,” said Dan Jones of Dan Jones & Associates.  “And as the survey indicates, this understanding is clearly widespread, cutting across both political and demographic boundaries.”

The survey also revealed that Utahns believe an initiative passed in the 2014 Utah legislative session to provide additional funding for science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, education will pay dividends for the state and have a positive impact on Utah’s future workforce.

“I’m not surprised by the finding,” said Natalie Gochnour, an associate dean at the David Eccles School of Business.  “Jobs in the STEM fields are cutting-edge, and are generally higher-paying than other positions.  Moreover, rapid growth in the state’s technology industry will be bolstered by improvements to STEM education, and the state’s economy will benefit as in-state tech businesses expand and out-of-state businesses relocate to Utah to take advantage of our tech-savvy and capable workforce.”

When asked to what degree they supported future legislative efforts to reduce the number of tax exemptions available to families with more than two children, responses were evenly split.