HPU/News & Record Poll: 7 Percent Teacher Pay Raise is Too Little

HIGH POINT, N.C., Sept. 23, 2014 – According to a new High Point University/News & Record Poll, a majority of this year’s likely voters think the much-discussed 7 percent pay raise for teachers passed by the North Carolina General Assembly was too little, and the vast majority of these voters had heard at least something about the pay raise.

When asked by the HPU Poll and News & Record, 58 percent of likely voters responded that they thought the pay raise for teachers was “too little.” Only 6 percent thought the raise was “too much” and another 29 percent said “just about right.”

Overall, almost 9 out of 10 likely voters (87 percent total) said they have heard at least a “little bit” about the pay raise. Almost half (47 percent) said that they have heard a lot.

“The pay raise for teachers has gotten a good deal of attention both in the context of the current U.S. Senate race and in general discussions about North Carolina education,” says Dr. Martin Kifer, director of the HPU Poll and assistant professor of political science “So, it is no surprise a lot of the most engaged voters have heard something about it. The notable finding here is that so many hold the view that in these tight budget times the raise should be more.”


Likely voters – Heard about teacher pay raise

How much, if anything, have you heard about a 7 percent pay raise for teachers that the North Carolina General Assembly passed and the Governor signed into law? Have you heard a lot, a little bit, or not much at all?

A lot – 47 percent

A little bit – 40 percent

Not much at all – 13 percent

(North Carolina likely voter sample surveyed Sept. 13-18, n = 410 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 5 percent)


Likely voters – Thinking about amount of teacher pay raise

Based on what you have heard, do you think the pay raise was too much, just about right, or too little?

Too much – 6 percent

Just about right – 29 percent

Too little – 58 percent

Don’t know/refused – 8 percent

(North Carolina likely voter sample surveyed Sept. 13-18, n = 410 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 5 percent)


The High Point University Survey Research Center fielded this survey with live interviewers calling between Sept. 13 and 18, 2014. The responses came from 410 likely voters with landline or cellular telephones. First, registered voters were identified using a Registration Based Sampling system that selected possible respondents from a statewide, North Carolina list of registered voters that had landline and cell phone numbers appended by a contractor. Likely voters were estimated by asking a screening question: “On November 4, North Carolina will hold their general election for U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives and other offices. How certain are you that you will vote in this election? Are you almost certain to vote, you probably will vote, your chances of voting are 50/50, or you will not vote in the November 2014 general election?” The only registered voters who passed the screen were those who responded “almost certain” or “probably” to the screening question AND voted in the 2010 general election in North Carolina, registered in North Carolina after 2010 and voted in the 2012 general election, or registered in North Carolina since 2012 passed the screen. The Survey Research Center contracted with Survey Sampling International to acquire this sample. The survey has an estimated margin of sampling error of approximately 5 percentage points for this population of respondents. The data are weighted toward estimated turn out figures for age, gender and race based on North Carolina Board of Elections data and exit polls from past campaigns. In addition to sampling error, factors such as question wording and other methodological choices in conducting survey research can introduce additional error into the findings of opinion polls.

Further results and methodological details from the most recent survey and past studies can be found at the Survey Research Center website at http://www.highpoint.edu/src/. The materials on-line include past press releases as well as memos summarizing the findings (including approval ratings) for each poll since 2010.

You can follow the HPU Poll on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/SurveyResearchCenter  and Twitter at http://twitter.com/HPUSurveyCenter.

Dr. Martin Kifer, assistant professor of political science, serves as the director of the HPU Poll, and Brian McDonald serves as the assistant director of the HPU Poll.

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