New Jersey residents "overwhelmingly support" climate change education in recent poll

The New Jersey State House.

The New Jersey State House. Photo by Lowlova. CC BY-SA 4.0.

A recent poll from Fairleigh Dickinson University suggests that "Jersey residents overwhelmingly support required education about climate change, with 70 percent of residents favoring it, and concerns that it might upset children having no impact on their views."

Respondents were presented with the prompt "Currently, students in New Jersey public schools are required to learn about climate change" followed by either "Some people say that this is an important topic in science and society that children should learn about; others say that learning about climate change might be too upsetting for them" or "For various reasons, some people think climate change should not be part of the curriculum," and then asked, "What do you think? Should children be required to learn about climate change in school?" There was not a statistically significant difference in the responses to the two versions of the question.

Demographically, "Democrats are more likely than other partisan groups to approve of the climate change curriculum mandate, with 96 percent saying that the instruction should be required. ... 65 percent of independents say that schools should teach about climate change, with only 34 percent opposing. Republicans are evenly split on the issue, with 45 percent supporting, and 45 percent opposing." There was only a minor difference with regard to education, with 75 percent of respondents with a college degree approving of climate change education as opposed to 67 percent of those without, and none with regard to age.

The survey was conducted between April 28 and May 6, 2023. with a sample of 817 adult New Jersey residents contacted by telephone or text-to-web. The results were demographically weighted; the sampling error is +/- 3.5 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level.

Glenn Branch
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Glenn Branch is Deputy Director of NCSE.