Education Poll

August 29, 2003  -- Posted at 7:21 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, Ark  --A new poll shows that about 14 percent of Arkansans say they have followed the current education debate very closely, but 25 percent say they have not followed it at all.

The poll was commissioned by an education group created by Governor Huckabee to promote his legislation to improve Arkansas public schools.

The poll also shows a majority of the voters surveyed say they would rather decide school reform issues themselves through a ballot initiative instead of leaving the issue in the hands of legislators.

The poll of 426 registered Arkansas voters indicates 66 percent believe improvements in public education should be on the November 2004 ballot and 26 percent want to see a compromise worked out in the Legislature. Nine percent were undecided. The survey was conducted on behalf of the Next Step Council by Dresner, Wickers and Associates, the polling firm Huckabee uses.

. Huckabee says he'll call a special legislative session December eighth. Of the percentage of respondents who said they aren't closely following education debates, Dresner says he thinks voters are overloaded by information.

The survey asks questions about details of Huckabee's plan, but only refers to opponents' plans in general terms. A report on the poll says 61 percent of those surveyed supported Huckabee's consolidation plan, 19 supported his opponents' proposed solutions and 20 percent were undecided.

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