New Poll Released: 74% of voters support state-funded preschool

Public is open to new revenue stream to pay for quality four-year old preschool program

Honolulu, HI – Good Beginnings Alliance (GBA) and the Be My Voice! HawaiʻiLeadership Council announced today the results of an independent, local poll conducted by Ward Research showing that 74 percent of voters support free or partly free preschool for all children.

“We were surprised that the public not only understood the importance of preschool, but they were also open to new revenue to fund a four-year old preschool program. That public is ready to take some bold steps forward – and so are we,” says Dee Jay Mailer, Leadership Council Chairperson and CEO of Kamehameha Schools.

When it came to funding a four-year old preschool program, respondents were most open to the following options: a lottery run by the State, where lottery revenue would help fund the program (21 percent), and income tax increase for households making over $500,000/yr (18 percent), a 5-cent tax on soda and other sugary beverages (16 percent).

The vast majority of people in Hawai‘i (93 percent) also understand that early education prepares our children for school success and is important to their development.

Be My Voice! Hawai‘i is the public advocacy campaign working with the community and the Executive Office on Early Learning to develop a bold four-year old preschool program for Hawaii. Educating our keiki is of critical importance to the future of our state, and it’s time Hawai‘i joins the almost 40 other states who provide state- funded preschool opportunities.

“We have an opportunity here to change the lives of thousands of children every year,” says GBA Executive Director Deborah Zysman. “The public wants state-funded preschool, the legislature has established the Executive Office of Early Learning and the Governor says he supports a strong early childhood education system. We need to act now.”

 

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GBA is Hawai‘i’s leading independent voice advocating for the rights of the whole child: safety, health, and education. The grassroots, public will-building campaign, Be My Voice! Hawai‘i, is committed to ensuring every child has access to quality preschool so they can succeed in school and in life. Learn more at www.bemyvoicehawaii.org.