SOURCE: New Jersey After 3

New Jersey After 3

June 20, 2011 17:54 ET

Polls Demonstrate Broad Public Support for Restoring Afterschool Programs in New Jersey

Monmouth Polling Institute & Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling Report New Jersey After 3 Vital to NJ Families

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--(Marketwire - Jun 20, 2011) - New Jersey After 3, a statewide network of evidence-based afterschool programs, was the subject of two major polling institutions' recent surveys. Rutgers University Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling and The Monmouth Polling Institute conducted surveys to determine the level of public support for afterschool programs and New Jersey After 3. The results proved that families not only support and depend on New Jersey After 3 as a vital solution -- but also believe, by overwhelming margins, that it is a worthy State investment, and should be restored somewhere between $5 million and $10 million in the FY12 budget.

The Rutgers University Eagleton Center for Public Interest, led by Professor David Redlawsk, designed a poll to collect information from adults ages 18 and over throughout the state of New Jersey. The results clearly demonstrate that New Jersey After 3's afterschool programs hold importance throughout the state -- with 97% of respondents agreeing that they support afterschool programs. This high level of support was consistent across a variety of demographic categories such as gender, race, geography, and parental status. When that 97% of support was further evaluated against party ID, there was remarkably high support regardless of party -- the results found that independents were the most supportive at 99% followed by Democrats at 97% and Republicans at 95%. Additionally, the survey showed that 84% of all respondents who believe the budget should be restored to New Jersey After 3, said it should be restored to somewhere between 5 and 10 million dollars -- with half of those people supporting the full restoration to $10 million.

The Monmouth Polling Institute polled New Jersey residents specifically on their views regarding the proposed budget cut to New Jersey After 3. They specifically asked respondents one question only. "If something has to be cut, do you think the budget should cut after school programs to preserve funding for other services OR cut other services to preserve funding for after school programs?" The results showed that more than two-thirds of New Jersey residents would cut other programs just to preserve afterschool programs, and only one-fifth would cut afterschool first.

"The data from these two different polls demonstrate both the depth and the width of public support for afterschool programs. Across demographics, across party lines, across the State, New Jersey voters are clearly telling State leaders that public investment in afterschool needs to be a top State priority. The current proposal to eliminate funding for New Jersey After 3 directly contradicts what voters say they want," stated Mark Valli, New Jersey After 3's President & CEO. "These polls prove that New Jersey After 3 afterschool programs are being demanded by New Jersey residents, because they expand student learning time, keep kids safe and support working families. New Jersey residents want these programs, and are even willing to cut other worthy programs just to make sure that children can still participate in New Jersey After 3 afterschool programs. That's a powerful level of support."

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    Shannon Boehmer
    New Jersey After 3
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