Wisconsin voters want welfare reform, parents in schools, and increased police, poll show

Overwhelming sentiments in key swing state run against liberal policies.

Updated: May 8, 2022 - 11:07pm

Voters in Wisconsin, by large margins, want to see more parents involved in their kids' schools, more police officers on the streets, and more people getting back to work in the state.

The Badger Institute on Tuesday released results from a poll conducted by the State Policy Network. The poll shows broad support for education and welfare reforms, and shows support for a return to more policing.

“It’s heartening to see how many issues drew support across the political spectrum. It reinforces the fact that Wisconsinites embrace common-sense solutions and want to see their kids, their neighbors and their communities flourish,” the Badger Institute’s Michael Jahr told The Center Square.

The survey asked Wisconsin voters whether they support or oppose a work requirement to receive government benefits. Sixty percent said they strongly or somewhat support such a requirement. Only 23% said they strongly or somewhat oppose it.

“We were encouraged to see broad support for the reinstatement of work requirements for those receiving government assistance. It’s one thing to have a safety net during difficult times, but when just about every employer in the state needs workers, Wisconsinites expect the able-bodied to actively pursue work,” Jahr said.

The poll shows Wisconsin voters support having police officers present in schools. Seventy-eight percent agree that having police officers in schools provides an opportunity for positive and helpful interactions with law enforcement officers, while 72% believe that it would help create an orderly, safe learning environment. Only 27% believe that police officers in schools would create a hostile environment for some students.

“Wisconsin voters clearly see the value in having police officers present in schools. School districts that continue to ban school resource officers may be more motivated by a political narrative than ensuring the safety of their students and employees,” Jahr added.

The poll also asked about parents in schools. Pollsters say 65% of Wisconsin voters agree that parents should have more input on what is taught in public schools. Just 30% said they disagree.

“The fact that more than two-thirds of Wisconsinites believe parents should have more input on what’s taught in the public schools is consistent with what we’ve seen in other polling,” Jahr said. “Parents more than ever are realizing that schools can often advance political agendas at the expense of rigorous academics. Parents want to know that their kids will be equipped to compete in the workforce, not spout someone else’s ideologies.”