Fairgoers back changes to pre-K, teacher seniority

Updated 11:21 a.m. | Posted  9:48 a.m.

Results of an unscientific poll conducted by the nonpartisan Minnesota House Public Information Services during the State Fair show majority support for the universal preschool approach favored by DFL Gov. Mark Dayton.

Nearly 60 percent (59.7) of survey participants said they support publicly funded pre-K for all 4-year-olds, while 32.6 percent opposed it and 7.6 percent were undecided or had no opinion.

On another education topic, fairgoers overwhelming supported the approach to teacher seniority reform that House Republicans pushed unsuccessfully last session that would have ended the practice known as last in, first out. A large 73.4 percent said seniority should not be the primary factor when determining teacher layoffs, while 18 percent said it should and 8.6 percent were undecided or had no opinion.

Also, 81 percent said parents should be required to talk to a physician before opting out of student immunizations.

The survey also found 73.2 percent would support a constitutional amendment to protect electronic data from unreasonable government search and seizure, 70 percent favor a required Internet class on invasive species before getting a boat license, and 67.9 percent favor a tax exemption for Social Security income.

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A majority (54.4 percent) also opposes an allowance for employers to pay a lower minimum wage to tipped workers.

The annual state fair House poll had 6,338 participants this year.

The Minnesota Senate also released the results of its unscientific state fair poll, which had 4,585 respondents.

On the issue of police body cameras, 62.1 percent said there should be limited public access to the video, while 20.5 percent favor extensive public access and 13.97 said body cam video should be strictly private. Another 3.52 percent were undecided or had no opinion.

Some of the strongest opinions among fairgoers included 75.66 percent support for a high school graduation requirement that students pass the same civics test required of immigrants seeking U.S. citizenship.

There was also strong support (70.25%) for automatic voter registration when applying for or renewing a driver’s license.

The Senate survey found a majority (54.32%) opposed to restoring voting rights to felons who’ve been released from incarcerations but are still on probation.