HPU/News & Record Poll: No Clear Consensus on School Board Elections Among North Carolinians

HIGH POINT, N.C., April 18, 2019 – A High Point University/News and Record Poll finds that less than one-third (28%) of North Carolinians say school board elections should be partisan. Almost two in five (37%) agree school board elections should not be partisan, and 35% of poll participants didn’t offer an opinion.

However, North Carolinians are engaged in offering opinions on teacher pay. In a February 2019 HPU Poll, majorities of North Carolinians say that they believe North Carolina teachers are paid too little (75%), and they would be willing to pay more in taxes to raise teacher pay to the national average within five years (60%).

“Our recent HPU Poll shows North Carolinians are still forming an opinion about school board elections, whereas about one-third do not even have an opinion on the subject,” says Brian McDonald, associate director of the HPU Poll and adjunct instructor. “However, a majority of poll participants have said that teachers in the state are paid too little, with about two in three willing to pay more taxes to raise teacher pay.” 

All adults – School Board Elections (March/April 2019)

Should local school board elections be partisan?

Yes – 28%

No – 37%

Don’t know/refused – 35%

(All adult (North Carolina resident) phone and online sample, surveyed Mar. 29 – April 4, 2019, n = 841 and credibility interval of +/- 4.4%)

All adults – Teacher Pay (February 2019)

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

Too little – 75%

About right – 17%

Too much – 2%

Don’t know/refused – 6%

(All adult (North Carolina resident) phone and online sample, surveyed Feb. 4-11, 2019, n = 873 and credibility interval of +/- 4.4%)

All adults – Tax increase (February 2019)

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 – 60% 

No – 26%

Don’t know/refused – 14%

(All adult (North Carolina resident) phone and online sample, surveyed Feb. 4-11, 2019, n = 873 and credibility interval of +/- 4.4%)

The most recent HPU Poll was fielded by live interviewers at the High Point University Survey Research Center calling on Mar. 29 – April 4, 2019 and an online survey fielded at the same time. The responses from a sample of all North Carolina counties came from 841 adults interviewed online (602 respondents) as well as landline or cellular telephones (239 respondents). The Survey Research Center contracted with Dynata, formerly Research Now SSI: https://www.dynata.com/, to acquire these samples and fielded the online survey using its Qualtrics platform. This is a combined sample of live phone interviews and online interviews. The online sampling is from a panel of respondents, so their participation does not adhere to usual assumptions associated with random selection. Therefore, it is not appropriate to assign a classical margin of sampling error for the results. In this case, the SRC provides a credibility interval of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points to account for a traditional 95% confidence interval for the estimates (plus or minus 3.4 percentage points) and a design effect of 1.3 (based on the weighting). The data is weighted toward population estimates for age, gender, race and education level based on U.S. Census numbers for North Carolina. Factors such as question wording and other methodological choices in conducting survey research can introduce additional error into the findings of opinion polls. Details from this survey are available at http://www.highpoint.edu/src/files/2019/04/65memoA.pdf.

The February 2019 HPU Poll was fielded by live interviewers at the High Point University Survey Research Center calling on Feb. 4–11, 2019 and an online survey fielded at the same time. The responses from a sample of all North Carolina counties came from 873 adults interviewed online (594 respondents) as well as landline or cellular telephones (279 respondents). The Survey Research Center contracted with Dynata, formerly Research Now SSI: https://www.dynata.com/, to acquire these samples and fielded the online survey using its Qualtrics platform. This is a combined sample of live phone interviews and online interviews. The online sampling is from a panel of respondents, so their participation does not adhere to usual assumptions associated with random selection. Therefore, it is not appropriate to assign a classical margin of sampling error for the results. In this case, the SRC provides a credibility interval of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points to account for a traditional 95% confidence interval for the estimates (plus or minus 3.3 percentage points) and a design effect of 1.3 (based on the weighting). The data is weighted toward population estimates for age, gender, race and education level based on U.S. Census numbers for North Carolina. Factors such as question wording and other methodological choices in conducting survey research can introduce additional error into the findings of opinion polls. Details from this survey are available at http://www.highpoint.edu/src/files/2019/03/63memoE.pdf.

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 online include past press releases as well as memos summarizing the findings (including approval ratings) for each poll since 2010.

The HPU Poll reports methodological details in accordance with the standards set out by AAPOR’s Transparency Initiative, and the HPU Survey Research Center is a Charter Member of the Initiative. For more information, see

http://transparency.aapor.org/index.php/transparency.

You can follow the HPU Poll on Twitter at https://twitter.com/HPUSurveyCenter.

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

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