By Mike Hellgren

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Marylanders recognized the need for improvements for public education but were largely unaware of the Kirwan Commission, a Goucher College poll released Monday found.

The poll found 69 percent of people said that public schools in Maryland don’t receive enough state funding, while 18 percent disagreed.

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It also found that 64 percent of people said that state funding for public schools is not spent effectively by school administrators, with 19 percent disagreeing with that.

Meanwhile, 69 percent of people in Maryland have not heard or read anything about the Kirwan Commission.

In addition, when asked about taxes, nearly three-quarters of those surveyed said they prefer a tax system where people with higher incomes pay a higher tax rate than those with lower incomes.

24 percent of those surveyed think people should pay the same tax rate regardless of their income.

However, 51 percent say Maryland’s taxes are too high, while 44 percent say it’s about right. In addition, 3 percent say taxes are too low.

WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren spoke to Dr. Mileah Kromer of Goucher College, who coordinated the poll and directs the school’s Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center.

“In terms of public education, you see large, broad-based support for some of the initiatives within the Kirwan commission,” Kromer said.

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The poll also found crime is the number one concern of Marylanders. Dr. Kromer said the numbers spiked for those in the Baltimore metro area. This comes as Baltimore is seeing almost daily shootings and a homicide rate higher than the year before.

Kromer said that is unusual.

“Most years, education and economic initiatives are the number one issues facing the state,” Kromer said.

Governor Hogan maintained his strong approval rating, with 62 percent approving of his job as governor.

Maryland residents surveyed appear to be split on sports betting.

According to the poll, 47 percent of people said they support expanding gambling to allow sports betting online in Maryland, while 43 percent of people oppose it.

Overall, 91 percent of Marylanders said they’re either “very happy” or “pretty happy” with the state.

The poll surveyed 713 Maryland residents between February 13-18. The second part of the poll to be released Tuesday will focus on Marylanders’ picks for president.

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You can see the full report here.