Survey of Idaho General Public

The findings in this iteration of The People's Perspective are based on 1,002 interviews conducted by telephone with a randomly-selected representative sample of Idaho adults 18 years old and older in autumn 2021. The survey was preceded by two focus groups with Idahoans, including parents of school-age children. The analysis is the fourth in a series of surveys conducted since 2016 to document the Idaho public's attitudes about public education.

The Survey

Telephone interviews with a cross-section of 1,002 adults in Idaho took place between October 14 and November 12, 2021. The average length of an interview was just under 17 minutes. The survey's margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level. The margin of error increases for sub-groups within the sample; for example, the statewide random sample generated 369 completed interviews with parents of children under 18 years old. When the study reports the views of parents, a sub-group of the total sample, the margin of error to take into account is plus or minus 5 percentage points.

The study employed a dual-frame landline/cell phone sampling design, with quotas established by geography and key demographics to ensure a representative sample of Idahoans was surveyed. According to the most recent National Center for Health Statistics Report, 74.9 percent of Idaho adults live in wireless-only households. A total of 233 interviews (23%) were completed on landlines, and 769 (77%) on cell phones. For both the landline and cell phone interviews dialing began with non-targeted sample, followed by age-targeted and Hispanic-targeted sample as needed to meet desired quotas. The final survey data are weighted to population parameters to adjust for over- and under-representation of certain age/gender groups in the sampling frame.

To minimize non-response bias, interviews were conducted on each day of the week (Monday-Saturday) and at different times of the day. If a respondent indicated a better time for the interview, callbacks were made accordingly. Up to 6 callback attempts were made for each verified telephone number in the sample.

The Questionnaire

As in all surveys, non-sampling sources of error could also have an impact on survey results. The survey instrument used in this study was extensively pre-tested to ensure that the language was accessible and appropriate to members of the general public, including those who may not be familiar with the topic of public schools. Questions were randomized and answer categories rotated in an effort to minimize non-sampling sources of error (order bias). The questionnaire was designed by the FDR Group, and all interpretation of the data reflected in this report was done by the FDR Group. Sample was obtained from Marketing Systems Group. The telephone interviews and data collection were provided by Wiese Research Group.

* US Dept. of Health & Human Services, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, Released 08/21 ( )

The Focus Groups

In September 2021, two virtual focus groups were conducted with members of the general public. The purpose of the focus group discussions was to gauge understanding of the issues at hand and the energy these issues tap. The groups were also useful in testing and developing the survey instrument. Focus groups allow for an in-depth, qualitative exploration of the dynamics underlying people's attitudes towards complex issues. Quotes from the focus groups are used in the report to give voice to attitudes captured statistically through the survey.

Comparison of demographics of Idaho population with weighted & unweighted samples

Gender Population Weighted Unweighted
Male: 50% 49% 52%
Female: 50% 51% 48%
US Census:
Race/Ethnicity Population Weighted Unweighted
Hispanic: 11% 13% 13%
White: 89% 85% 85%
US Census:
Education Population Weighted Unweighted
High school or less: 35% 15% 15%
Some college, 2-year degree: 37% 47% 47%
4-year or Graduate degree: 29% 38% 38%
US Census:
Age Population Weighted Unweighted
18-34: 30% 31% 30%
35-54: 33% 36% 33%
55-64: 17% 16% 17%
65+: 21% 17% 21%
US Census:
Urbanicity Population Weighted Unweighted
Urban: 69% 67% 66%
Non-urban: 31% 33% 34%
Idaho: Three Rural Definitions Based on Census Places,
Region Population Weighted Unweighted
North: 20% 20% 20%
East: 23% 23% 23%
South West: 46% 46% 46%
South Central: 11% 11% 11%
Idaho 2020 Census Tables, updated 8/12/21, US Census Bureau, Population Estimates Program