HPU Poll: NC Republicans and Democrats Agree on Education Issues

HIGH POINT, N.C., March 7, 2018 – A High Point University Poll finds majorities of North Carolinians agree on a series of education issues despite the partisanship and polarization that dominates some political discussions. Relatively large majorities of North Carolinians say most people have respect for teachers and school administrators, are willing to pay more in taxes to boost teacher salaries, and support a bond referendum to build and renovate state schools, as well as other possible education policy priorities.

 

Respect for school staff and officials: Relatively large majorities of North Carolina residents say that most people have respect for school principals (81 percent), public school teachers (72 percent), school superintendents (72 percent) and school boards (63 percent).  Many North Carolinians agree on this across partisan lines. For example, majorities of Democrats (79 percent), Republicans (80 percent), and unaffiliated (85 percent) residents of North Carolina say most people have respect for school principals. Similarly, large majorities of Democrats (68 percent), Republicans (78 percent), and unaffiliated (69 percent) residents of North Carolina say most people have respect for public school teachers. 

 

Teacher pay raises: Majorities of North Carolinians also say that public school teachers are paid too little (85 percent) and claim that they would be willing to pay more in taxes so that North Carolina school teachers could be paid at the national average within five years (73 percent). In fact, large majorities of Democrats (72 percent), Republicans (72 percent), and unaffiliated (76 percent) residents of North Carolina say they would pay more in taxes for such a teacher pay raise.  

 

Funds for schools with high numbers of disabled or poor students: Large majorities of North Carolinians say they would support legislation to provide more funding to schools with high concentrations of students with disabilities (93 percent) or students in poverty (86 percent). The HPU Poll finds that large majorities of Democrats (98 percent), Republicans (87 percent), and unaffiliated (93 percent) of North Carolina residents say they would support more funding to schools with large concentrations of disabled students. Similarly, large majorities of Democrats (94 percent), Republicans (80 percent), and unaffiliated (88 percent) residents of North Carolina say they would support more funding to schools with large concentrations of students in poverty.    

 

Lack of support for virtual charter schools: Majorities of North Carolinians are skeptical of new programs supporting virtual schools. A relatively large majority of North Carolina residents (61 percent) say that they generally oppose children taking all their classes online through virtual charter schools. Furthermore, approximately two-thirds (67 percent) of North Carolinians say they do not believe that the state should fully fund virtual schools.  Similarly, almost 3 out of 5 (59 percent) respondents say that the state should not expand the number of virtual schools.

“Even as the U.S. and state political landscape is dominated by partisanship, we see in the results of the poll lots of convergence among Democrats and Republicans around education issues,” says Dr. Barbara Mallory, associate professor of education at High Point University. “They express respect for principals, superintendents, and teachers, and they are willing to vote in favor of legislation to pay more taxes for teachers to receive more pay.”

 

All adults – Respect for government and school officials (February 2018)

I am going to read you a list of government officials and some other groups. Please tell me whether you think that in general most people have respect for these people or groups.

 

  Yes No (Don’t Know/ Refuse)
School principals 81 19 *
Public school teachers 72 28 *
School superintendents 72 28 *
North Carolina Governor 66 34 *
School boards 63 37 *
County commissioners 61 39 *
North Carolina State Superintendent of Public Instruction 57 42 1
State Board of Education 53 47 *
State legislators 46 54 *

 

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed Feb. 5-11, 2018, n = 439 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.7 percent)

 

All adults – Respect for government/school officials (February 2018) – Crosstabs

I am going to read you a list of government officials and some other groups. Please tell me whether you think that in general most people have respect for these people or groups.

 

School principals

  Democrat Republican (Independent/unaffiliated) (Other) (Don’t know) (Refuse)
Yes 79 80 85 78 88 75
No 21 20 15 22 13 25
Don’t know/Refuse 0 0 0 0 0 0

 

Public school teachers

 

  Democrat Republican (Independent/unaffiliated) (Other) (Don’t know) (Refuse)
Yes 68 78 69 63 63 67
No 31 22 31 38 38 33
Don’t know/Refuse 1 0 0 0 0 0

 

School superintendents

  Democrat Republican (Independent/unaffiliated) (Other) (Don’t know) (Refuse)
Yes 81 66 74 25 67 67
No 19 34 26 75 22 33
Don’t know/Refuse 0 0 0 0 11 0

 

North Carolina Governor

  Democrat Republican (Independent/unaffiliated) (Other) (Don’t know) (Refuse)
Yes 79 53 67 67 88 50
No 21 47 33 33 13 50
Don’t know/Refuse 0 0 0 0 0 0

 

School boards

  Democrat Republican (Independent/unaffiliated) (Other) (Don’t know) (Refuse)
Yes 69 62 61 25 57 67
No 31 38 39 75 43 33
Don’t know/Refuse 0 0 0 0 0 0

 

County commissioners

  Democrat Republican (Independent/unaffiliated) (Other) (Don’t know) (Refuse)
Yes 70 54 60 44 88  
No 30 46 40 56 13 100
Don’t know/Refuse 0 0 0 0 0 0

 

North Carolina State Superintendent of Public Instruction

  Democrat Republican (Independent/unaffiliated) (Other) (Don’t know) (Refuse)
Yes 66 57 49 44 67 67
No 34 42 51 56 17 33
Don’t know/Refuse 0 1 0 0 17 0

 

State Board of Education

  Democrat Republican (Independent/unaffiliated) (Other) (Don’t know) (Refuse)
Yes 59 54 47 44 57 67
No 41 46 53 56 43 33
Don’t know/Refuse 0 0 0 0 0 0

 

State legislators

  Democrat Republican (Independent/unaffiliated) (Other) (Don’t know) (Refuse)
Yes 52 41 43 44 75 50
No 48 59 57 56 25 50
Don’t know/Refuse 0 0 0 0 0 0

 

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed Feb. 5-11, 2018, n = 439 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.7 percent)

 

All adults – Support for statewide bond referendum (February 2018)

The last statewide bond referendum for public school facility construction and maintenance was held in 1997. Would you generally favor or oppose a statewide bond referendum to provide North Carolina school districts with funds to address an estimated 8 to 10-billion-dollar backlog in school construction and renovation?

Favor – 76 percent

Oppose – 15 percent

(Don’t know/Refuse) – 9 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed Feb. 5-11, 2018, n = 439 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.7 percent)

 

All adults – Public school teacher pay (February 2018)

Generally speaking, would you say that North Carolina public school TEACHERS are paid too little, about the right amount, or too much?

Too little – 85 percent

About right – 9 percent

Too much – 1 percent

(Don’t know/Refuse) – 5 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed Feb. 5-11, 2018, n = 439 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.7 percent)

 

All adults – Pay more in taxes for teacher pay? (February 2018)

Would you be willing to pay more in taxes so that North Carolina TEACHERS would be paid at the level of the national average within five years?

Yes – 73 percent     

No – 21 percent      

(Don’t know/Refuse) – 7 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed Feb. 5-11, 2018, n = 439 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.7 percent)

 

All adults – Pay more in taxes for teacher pay? (February 2018) – Crosstabs

Would you be willing to pay more in taxes so that North Carolina TEACHERS would be paid at the level of the national average within five years?

  Democrat Republican (Independent/unaffiliated) (Other) (Don’t know/Refuse)
Yes 72 72 76 40 75
No 25 20 16 30 25
Don’t know/Refuse 3 8 8 30  

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed Feb. 5-11, 2018, n = 439 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.7 percent)

 

All adults – Support for virtual charter schools (February 2018)

Virtual charter school students stay at home and take all of their classes online. Do you generally favor or oppose children taking all their classes online through virtual charter schools?

Favor – 32 percent

Oppose – 61 percent

(Don’t know/Refuse) – 8 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed Feb. 5-11, 2018, n = 439 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.7 percent)

 

All adults – Support for fully funding virtual charter schools (February 2018)

North Carolina legislators have provided state funds for two virtual schools in the state. These two schools are in their third year of a four-year pilot, with mixed reviews about student enrollment and student performance. Do you believe the state should fully fund virtual schools?

Yes – 26 percent

No – 67 percent

(Don’t know/Refuse) – 7 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed Feb. 5-11, 2018, n = 439 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.7 percent)

 

All adults – Support for fully funding virtual charter schools (February 2018)

Do you believe the state should expand the number of virtual schools?

Yes – 30 percent

No – 59 percent

(Don’t know/Refuse) – 11 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed Feb. 5-11, 2018, n = 439 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.7 percent)

 

All adults – Schools with special populations (February 2018)

I am going to read several descriptions of schools with particular kinds of populations.  Please tell me if you would support a law to provide more funding to such schools….

 

  Yes, increase funding No, do not increase funding (Don’t Know/ Refuse)
Schools with large percentages of students with disabilities 93 4
Schools with high percentages of students in poverty 86 8 5

 

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed Feb. 5-11, 2018, n = 439 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.7 percent)

 

All adults – Schools with special populations (February 2018) – Crosstabs

I am going to read several descriptions of schools with particular kinds of populations.  Please tell me if you would support a law to provide more funding to such schools….

 

Schools with large percentages of students with disabilities

  Democrat Republican (Independent/unaffiliated) (Other) (Don’t know/Refuse)
Yes, increase funding 98 87 93 89 100
No, do not increase funding 1 7 5    
Don’t know/Refuse 2 6 2 11  

 

Schools with high percentages of students in poverty

  Democrat Republican (Independent/unaffiliated) (Other) (Don’t know/Refuse)
Yes, increase funding 94 80 88 78 75
No, do not increase funding 5 14 7 11  
Don’t know/Refuse 2 7 5 11 25

 

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed Feb. 5-11, 2018, n = 439 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.7 percent)

 

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