Tags Posts tagged with "Brandon Dutcher"

Brandon Dutcher

by -
1 10

The majority of likely Oklahoma voters polled support a variety of reforms that analysts estimate would save the state of Oklahoma money, according to a recent SoonerPoll study.

The survey asked respondents whether they supported implementing cost saving reforms in several areas of annual state spending. In each of the four areas polled, majorities of 55 percent or more supported implementing the cost saving reforms.

The Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA) created a list of what OCPA analysts consider to be, waste, inefficiencies and non-core services in state spending. OCPA holds that the cost saving reforms outlined in the list pave the way for an income tax phase out that does not require an increase in other taxes.

The questions polled in the SoonerPoll survey were drafted from that list.

Refer to the topline results to see the exact wording of the questions

The cost saving reform that garnered the most support was implementation of more rigorous performance reviews of state employees and better oversight of agency hiring and staffing levels.

After being told that, by implementing the reforms, an estimated 3-6 percent of the state workforce could be reduced, saving over $40 million annually, 73 percent of respondents said they should be implemented.

When respondents were asked about the $7.95 million the state spent from FY-2001 to FY-2011 subsidizing losses on state golf courses, 70.8 percent said the policy should be reformed.

Another question asked respondents whether the state should introduce competitive bidding for health benefit providers, an optional competitive health savings account for employees and measures to stop the overpayment of health benefits.

Results show that 69 percent of respondents were in favor of implementing the reforms, which, according to OCPA analysts, would save an estimated $75 to $100 million a year.

The reform which received the least support was a new stipulation that Career Techs in Oklahoma with sufficient local funds to operate would no longer receive additional state dollars. Results indicate that 54.6 percent supported the reform, which analysts estimate would save the state somewhere between $2 and $10 million annually.

Additional crosstab analysis reveals that all the reforms polled have broad bipartisan support.

“With Oklahoma government spending at an all-time high, it’s encouraging to see that voters support these common-sense reforms,” said Brandon Dutcher, OCPA’s vice president for policy.

SoonerPoll.com, Oklahoma’s public opinion pollster, was commissioned for this poll by the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs.   SoonerPoll.com conducted the scientific poll of 500 Likely Oklahoma voters were selected at random and administered the survey via live telephone interview between Feb. 8, and Feb. 23, 2012.   . The margin of error is plus or minus 4.38 percentage points.

by -
0 8

A majority of likely Oklahoma voters do not feel they are receiving a good return on their investment of $8,400 per student a year in education spending.

Poll respondents were asked, “According to official state data, education spending in Oklahoma is approximately $8,400 per student. Are taxpayers getting a good return on their investment of $8,400 per student per year?”

Results reveal that 62.4 percent of respondents said no, while just 22.9 percent said yes. Another 14.8 percent of respondents had no opinion.

“It’s a pretty sobering indictment of the status quo,” said Brandon Dutcher, vice president for policy at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA), “and this is using the government’s own spending data. If voters knew the real cost of education—which, as OCPA has demonstrated, is north of $10,000 per student—I suspect the return-on-investment results would be even lower.”

Further analysis reveals that 58.9 percent of Democrats say they are not receiving a good return, which makes them 6.1 points less likely to be unsatisfied than Republicans. Results also indicate that 73.3 percent of Independents are dissatisfied, which makes them 8.3 points more likely to be dissatisfied than Republicans.

When results are broken down by political label, a different trend emerges. Results show that 64.8 percent of liberals feel they are not receiving a good return, compared to 63.5 percent of conservatives.  An even lower percentage of moderates, 59.1 percent, feel they are not receiving a good return on investment.

Interestingly, just 17.9 percent of liberals say they are receiving a good return, compared to 22.2 percent conservatives and 28.4 percent of moderates.

“We have a bipartisan consensus among taxpayers that they’re not getting a good return on their investment,” said Dutcher. “Couple this with earlier SoonerPoll data showing that voters overwhelmingly believe more school spending won’t improve student performance, and it’s clear policymakers need to try something else. I would suggest that they continue to look to the one reform that consistently has shown to improve public schools: school choice.”

SoonerPoll.com, Oklahoma’s public opinion pollster, was commissioned for this poll by the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs. SoonerPoll.com conducted the scientific poll July 25-Aug. 11. Likely Oklahoma voters were selected at random and given the opportunity to participate in the poll by phone or online. Of the 587 respondents who participated, 17 took the survey online and 570 responded via telephone interview. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.04 percentage points.

by -
0 13

A recent study conducted by SoonerPoll found that a majority of Oklahoma’s likely voters would prefer the state’s public universities to cut spending if less revenue is available.

The survey asked respondents to choose between the following options in the event of a revenue shortage: raise tuition; increase class size; delay new facilities; freeze faculty pay; reduce administrative overhead; require professors to teach more students and do less research; or raise taxes.

‘Reduce administrative overhead’ was the top response with support from 37.8 percent of respondents, followed by ‘delay new facilities’ with 12.8 percent. ‘Freeze faculty pay,’ the survey’s other cut spending oriented response, was chosen by 8.9 percent of respondents, bringing the cut spending category total to a 59.5 percent majority.

‘Raise tuition’ and ‘raise taxes’ were the two responses with the least support with 5.5 and 4.5 percent respectively.

“Taxpayers are wise to want to reduce administrative overhead,” said Brandon Dutcher, vice president for policy at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs. “A recent report from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, for example, found that in the five-year period ending in 2008, the University of Oklahoma more than doubled its spending on administration.”

SoonerPoll.com, Oklahoma’s public opinion pollster, was commissioned for this poll by the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs. SoonerPoll.com conducted the scientific study using live interviewers by telephone of 508 likely voters from Jan. 24 – Feb. 3. The study has a margin of error of ± 4.35 percent.

The study found that when respondents were asked which option they next most prefer the three spending cut options remain the most appealing. ‘Delay new facilities’ was the most popular second preference with 23.7 percent, followed by ‘reduce administrative overhead’ and ‘freeze faculty pay’ with 20.5 and 14.2 percent respectively.

‘Raise tuition’ and ‘raise taxes’ remain the lowest preferences.

The survey also asked respondents to agree or disagree with the statement “Public colleges and universities in Oklahoma can be run more efficiently.” Results showed that 81.3 percent of respondents agreed, 57.9 percent strongly and 23.4 percent somewhat. Only 6.3 percent disagreed while 12.4 percent remain undecided.

Richard A. Burpee, a retired Air Force general who also served as a vice president at the University of Central Oklahoma for four years, said there is definitely room for increased efficiencies in higher education. “We need to take a hard look at how much teaching professors actually do,” Burpee said.

Respondents were also asked to agree or disagree with this statement: “Professors should be paid based on how much teaching they do, especially how many students they teach.”
A 63.4 percent majority agreed with the statement, 38.8 percent strongly agreed while 24.6 percent somewhat agreed. Only 24.8 percent disagreed, while 11.8 remained.

Similarly, with 9.1 percent of respondents in favor, ‘require professors to teach more students and do less research” was the third most popular response to what public universities should do in the event of a budget crisis.

“It’s not fair to parents to send kids to college only to have them be taught by teaching assistants,” Dutcher said. “We should demand that more professors follow the example of University of Oklahoma historian Dr. J. Rufus Fears and actually teach large numbers of students. Taxpayers deserve no less.”

by -
0 4

As this year’s Oklahoma Home Educators’ Capitol Day approaches, a new SoonerPoll finds that a majority of Oklahomans, 55.7 percent, know someone who currently home schools their children.  The poll found that only 42.5 percent of respondents do not know anyone who prefers to educate their children at home while 1.8 percent of respondents are unsure.

Respondents were asked: ’Many parents prefer to educate their children at home instead of sending them to school. Do you know of anyone that currently home-schools their child?’

An Education Next-Harvard PEPG survey conducted last year asked a similarly worded question in 2010 and found that only 36 percent of respondents nationwide knew a family that home-schools, while 64 percent did not.

“This is an indicator that home schooling has become more mainstream in Oklahoma than in many of other states,” Brandon Dutcher, Vice President for Policy at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, said.

SoonerPoll.com, Oklahoma’s public opinion pollster, was commissioned for this poll by the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs.  SoonerPoll.com conducted the scientific study using live interviewers by telephone of 508 likely voters from Jan. 24 – Feb. 3. The study has a margin of error of ± 4.35 percent.

The Oklahoma Home Educators’ Capitol Day is an event held every year to encourage home schooling families and students to build relationships with lawmakers.  Protecting the right parents have to home educate their children from future regulation is one stated goal of the event, which will be held February 17.

The event also gives families the opportunity to demonstrate that home education is a viable option for providing an education.

“Home schooling is an educational option that more and more parents are embracing, and I expect that trend to continue,” Dutcher said.

Dutcher went on to mention that many home school graduates have recently made headlines in Oklahoma, including two 21-year-olds who were elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives in November.

“People are getting accustomed to seeing home-schoolers win things like spelling bees and robotics competitions,” Dutcher said. “And then last month a 17-year-old home-schooler is crowned Miss America, while Miss Oklahoma, another home-schooler, finishes in the top five. Then last week Prudential Financial and the National Association of Secondary School Principals honored the top six youth volunteers in Oklahoma—and three of them are home-schoolers.”

When the results are broken down by party, it is revealed that 60.3 percent of Republicans know a family that home-schools compared to just 52.9 percent of Democrats.

Similarly, the likeliness that a respondent will know a home schooling family corresponds directly to his or her political ideology.  Only 44.8 percent of those who consider themselves very liberal know a home schooling family, compared to 53.6 percent of moderates and 62.9 percent of those who are very conservative.

Like, Follow, Subscribe

512FansLike
1,132FollowersFollow
4SubscribersSubscribe