Voter Engagement and Satisfaction with California’s Local School Governance
In this brief, we use data from the 2021 PACE/USC Rossier Poll to report on California voters’ attitudes towards and engagement with local school district governance. Generally, our findings show relatively high support for school boards among California voters, although voters were less satisfied with school board performance in the context of the pandemic. Patterns of engagement also changed during the past year: some voters, particularly parents and higher income individuals, became more engaged in educational issues; others felt compelled to be more involved because they were unhappy or dissatisfied with educational systems. Our findings also highlight patterns of racial, socioeconomic, and partisan divisions in school district governance. In particular, Black voters and low-income voters were most likely to report dissatisfaction and feel less valued by their local school boards.