To the public education advocates who released it, the survey painted a gloomy picture of schools in Wisconsin - reduced staff and bigger class sizes in many districts, all as a result of state budget cuts.
To skeptical Republicans who had passed the budget cuts, the survey, conducted by the Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators, was a biased document. For one thing, they argued, it left out the fact that most of the job reductions came in districts that hadn't used the "tools" Republicans supplied them to protect themselves from budgetary harm - greatly reduced collective bargaining power for teachers, and requirements that those without contracts pay more for their fringe benefits and retirement.
Whatever else it was, though, the survey released Thursday by the state Department of Public Instruction was a preview of one of the major issues that the public will soon hear a great deal about as the next round of recall elections launches this week.
Graeme Zielinski, spokesman for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, says that recall campaigns against Gov. Scott Walker and several Republican senators are expected to launch Tuesday.
Republicans have said they may counter with recall attempts against Democratic state senators.