More than one-third of public school teachers are evangelical Christians, according to a new survey that also found the general public supports Bible classes in school.
The 51st annual PDK Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools polled teachers, parents and the general public about their opinions on schools.
Thirty-seven percent of all public school teachers are evangelical Christians, according to the poll. That figure mostly matches the percentage of the public (36 percent) that is evangelical Christian.
But on ideology, public school teachers are slightly more liberal than the general public. Forty percent of teachers call themselves “liberal,” compared to 28 percent of the public. Twenty-eight percent of teachers and 34 percent of the public are conservatives. Thirty-one percent of teachers and 34 percent of the public are moderates.
Politically, public school teachers are a little more likely to be Democrats, too. Thirty-nine percent of teachers but 34 percent of the public consider themselves Democrat. Twenty-five percent of teachers and 26 percent of all adults call themselves Republican.
Teachers and Public Back Bible Classes
Among all adults, a total of 64 percent favor Bible classes in school, with 58 percent saying such classes should be an elective and 6 percent saying the classes should be required. Support for Bible classes in either form is supported by 78 percent of Republicans and 51 percent of Democrats.
Thirty-eight percent of Americans express concern that Bible studies classes “may improperly promote Judeo-Christian religious beliefs,” according to the survey. This concern is shared by a majority of liberals (58 percent) and Democrats (55 percent). Only 28 percent of evangelicals have such a concern.
Among teachers, 58 percent support teaching the Bible either as an elective or as a required class.
The survey was conducted April 12-27 among 2,389 adults. It included interviews with 1,083 parents of school-age children and 556 public school teachers.
Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com.
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Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, The Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.