Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Poll: Majority of Floridians against charging tuition based on majors

TALLAHASSEE — Florida voters are overwhelmingly against charging college tuition based on what people study, skeptical that degrees can be offered for $10,000 and strongly against setting different educational goals based on race, a new poll has found.

The poll by Quinnipiac University released Thursday also found that Florida voters may be starting to change their minds on same-sex marriage, and are less enthusiastic about marijuana legalization than people in other parts of the country.

The bulk of the poll dealt with educational issues that are at least suggested as being in play in Florida — while there currently isn't a strong move on gay marriage or marijuana at the moment.

The poll asked voters about a recent state Board of Education "strategic plan" proposal that drew criticism. The plan set out interim goals for achievement for students, but set lower goals for African-American students in an effort to acknowledge that many of them start farther behind their white counterparts. Critics jumped on the plan — which Gov. Rick Scott also criticized — saying that it sent the message that minorities couldn't achieve as well as whites. Florida voters said by a 71-7 percent margin that there shouldn't be differing goals for students.

Voters also opposed, by a 66–26 percent margin, charging lower tuition to college students who major in high-tech, math and science subjects in an effort to boost the workforce in those areas.

Voters also were against, by 73-16 percent, allowing some public universities to charge higher tuition than others. Those polled also are skeptical of Scott's challenge to the state's colleges to offer some four-year degrees for $10,000. Only 29 percent think it is very likely or somewhat likely to occur.

Two national issues that are less prominent in Florida were also polled.

Respondents opposed same-sex marriage by a 10-point margin back in May, but in the poll released Thursday they were nearly evenly divided, with 43 percent in favor of allowing gay marriage and 45 percent opposed. Voters under 29 years old overwhelmingly support the idea, by a 66-23 percent margin.

There's also less reefer madness in Florida than elsewhere, according to the poll. Florida voters oppose legalizing personal use of marijuana by a 52 percent to 42 percent margin — while nationally respondents say they support it by about the same margin.

Respondents also think state workers should have 401K style retirement plans only, and no defined-benefit plans, which are currently offered in addition to the defined-contribution plans. The poll found 53 percent of voters support offering state workers only a defined-contribution plan, which is similar to many plans in the private sector.

The Dec. 11-17 poll surveyed 1,261 registered Florida voters. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.8 percentage points.

Poll: Majority of Floridians against charging tuition based on majors 12/20/12 [Last modified: Thursday, December 20, 2012 11:34pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Editorial: A proud moment for civic involvement in Hillsborough County


    It took private citizens less than 24 hours to do what their elected leaders in Hillsborough County could not for the past three months: Find the moral fortitude and the money to move a century-old Confederate war memorial from outside the county courthouse. Thursday's achievement was a lesson in leadership to county …

    The Hillsborough County Commission dithered for three months over moving the Memoria in Aeterna monument from the old county courthouse.
  2. Fort Myers woman arrested for doing cocaine off iPhone in parent pick-up line

    Bizarre News

    A Fort Myers woman was arrested Tuesday after police saw her snorting cocaine off her iPhone while in the parent pick-up line at a Lee County middle school.

    Christina Hester, 39, faces two different drug-related charges, according to police records. [Lee County Sheriff's Office]
  3. Tropical Storm Harvey forms in Atlantic


    UPDATE: At 5 p.m. the National Hurricane Center said a hurricane hunter plane had determined that Tropical Storm Harvey had formed with sustained winds of 40 mph.

    Three tropical waves are expected to strengthen as they move across the Atlantic Ocean. [Courtesy of the National Hurricane Center]
  4. Editorial: Pinellas should join lawsuit challenging new state law


    The Florida Legislature has been on a cynical, constitutionally dubious quest to render local school boards powerless. The most direct assault is a new state law that strips school boards of much of their authority when it comes to the creation and funding of charter schools. It's time for the Pinellas County School …

  5. Editorial: Fix funding unfairness in Florida foster care system


    Many of the children in Florida's foster care system already have been failed by their parents. The last thing these kids need is to be failed by bureaucracy, too, and yet that's exactly what appears to be happening because of a needlessly rigid funding formula set up by the Florida Legislature. Child welfare agencies …

    The Legislature may have had good intentions when it came up with the funding plan, but it’s obvious that there is some unfairness built into it. The funding may be complicated, but the goal is simple: Making sure every child in need gets the help he or she needs.