Thursday, June 14, 2012

FL Constitutional Amendment 8 unlikely to pass

The spring installment of the quarterly Florida Omnibus Survey (TM) looked at Amendment 8.

This amendment will appear on the November, 2012 ballot and ask Florida voters if they wish to change the State Constitution to allow more permissive uses of public funds for entities or activities that are affiliated with religious organizations.

It has been a topic of much discussion and consternation because of concerns among some groups that it could be broadly interpreted to sanction the use of tax-funded vouchers for students to pay for
tuition to attend private schools, such as those operated by churches and religious organizations.

Although there is sizeable opposition to the idea from any point of view, the results indicate that the notion of allowing tax dollars to be used for activities that are affiliated with religious organizations is more somewhat popular than the proposed amendment.

Overall, when respondents were read the formal ballot language -- with wording that may be somewhat politically-charged by including the reference to sects.

  • 17% of voters interviwed in the survey said they would vote for Amendment 8
  • 58% said they would vote against it 
  • 25% were  unsure. 
Although public schools might face drastic losses of funding that could adversely affect school budgets, as well as academic programs and services.

Parents of public school students were, statistically speaking, no more likely to oppose the issue, with 57% saying they will vote against it, compared to 60% among voters who were not public school parents.

This indicates parents may not fully comprehend the stakes of this complex constitutional topic.


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