(The Center Square) – A new Gallup poll shows how declining trust in America’s public schools differs along party lines.
Overall American trust in public schools remains low, with only 28% reporting that they have a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in public schools, which is down from 32% last year. Both numbers are short of the 41% reported in 2020, a level of trust not seen since 2004, with only 29% of Americans reporting having a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in public schools in 2018 and 2019.
Since the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, Republicans’ trust in public schools has fallen much further than their Democrat counterparts. Gallup reports that only 14% of Republicans say they have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in public schools, compared to 43% of Democrats.
And only 29% of independents report having a great deal or quite a lot of confidence.
This sentiment has evolved as the teaching of critical race theory, COVID masking and shutdown policies, the introduction of parental rights bills and more have sparked a cultural debate among Republicans and Democrats the past year.
Half of all polled Republicans say they have little to no faith in public schools, up 19 points from the 31% reported in 2019.
“Republicans’ confidence in public schools has been trending down for decades, and it tends to be lower at times when a Democrat is serving as president than when a Republican is in office,” Gallup said. “However, the 12-point drop in Republicans’ average level of confidence in public schools between Donald Trump’s presidency (29%) and under President Joe Biden’s (17%) is greater than would be predicted by those factors alone.”