Survey shows Idahoans mostly optimistic about direction of state

Posted at 5:28 PM, Jan 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-18 19:32:45-05

According to the Third Annual Idaho Public Policy Survey conducted by the Boise State School of Public Service, a majority of Idahoans think the state is headed in the right direction. 

The survey was conducted Dec. 2-7, 2017 and surveyed 1,000 adults currently living in Idaho. The survey sample was designed to be representative of all regions of the state. 

According to the survey, 57.5 percent think things in Idaho are generally headed in the right direction, while 30.8 percent think the state is on the wrong track. 

Education and economic matters continue to be seen as the top two issues facing the state, though both health care and taxes are growing in importance. 

"Almost two-thirds of our respondents in the state said the tax burden is about right," Dr. Justin Vaughn, co-author of the report. "You had about a quarter of the people who said the taxes are too high. A very small number, only about 9 percent, of the state said taxes are too low."

The majority of those surveyed said the quality of K-12 education is either "fair" or "poor". Roughly 32 percent said the quality of K-12 education was either "good" or "excellent".

The survey shows Idahoans view their local schools more favorably than those of the state as a whole. Still, most view their local schools unfavorably.  

"We asked do they think that Idaho higher education institutions are providing an excellent workforce for the state and the answers were favorable," Vaughn said. "They were less favorable for questions where we asked where if students and parents... had a strong understanding of the options available to students once they left high school, whether they were four year schools or, especially, career training."

As for the Idaho state budget, 42.2 percent think it should stay about the same. About 8.3 percent said it the budget should be cut, and 35.7 percent would like to see it increased.