Voters Aren’t All In on Kirwan Commission Findings

Maryland Democrats have been trying to make the recommendations of the Kirwan Commission a topic of conversation during this election year. However, recent polling shows that voters may not be buying it.

In a memo released by the Maryland Public Policy Institute, voters think that the composition of the commission was skewed to favor the teacher’s union and Democratic interests and doesn’t serve the state’s interests:

….the survey findings cast doubt on several sweeping proposals offered by the state’s closely-watch education reform commission, known as the Kirwan Commission on Innovation & Excellence in Maryland. For instance, voters oppose the commission’s recommendation to restructure standardized tests to measure Maryland students against students in foreign countries. They favor a “back to basics” approach to education that prioritizes career and technical training over character development or social services being offered at schools. While they are receptive to expanding pre-K services, they are far less likely to support expansion if it is paid for by cutting funds for other government services, such as public safety, children’s health insurance, or transportation. They are also less likely to support pre-K expansion if it is paid for through income tax or property tax increases.

In sum, school safety has emerged as one of the rare issues on which Democrats and Republicans agree. Equally important, voters are decidedly skeptical about the Kirwan Commission’s sweeping recommendations and their impact on household taxes, state spending, and the state’s public school system.

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The full memo is available here.

Democrats continue to make education funding a priority of this campaign. We have documented extensively the lengths that Democrats will go to to make it an issue, lie about it, demagogue about it, their lack of credibility on it and their generally hyperbolic nature as it relates to it. But the voters, according to this polling data, aren’t buying it. And at a time where the Maryland State Education Association is radicalizing itself into a left-wing political group instead of a group serving the needs of teachers and of education, that’s a bad recipe for Democrats. Because voters are seeing how badly the left is politicizing their schools and how they will use education as a cudgel against Republicans to win elections, no matter how inaccurate their criticisms are.

If voters are tuning out the Democrats message on the Kirwan Commission, they are not going to have a very November this year…

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