MEDIA RELEASE: At “Crucial Conversation,” NC Policy Watch Releases Education Poll Results

At “Crucial Conversation,” NC Policy Watch Releases Education Poll Results
Voters oppose private school vouchers, support maintaining revenue to fund public education, are skeptical of efforts to exempt charters from oversight

RALEIGH (March 30, 2011) – Voters support protecting funding for public education, oppose private school vouchers, and are suspicious of attempts to exempt charter schools from oversight, a new poll released at a Crucial Conversation lunch hosted today by NC Policy Watch reveals.

According to the poll, voters think that charter schools receiving public funding should be required to provide free and reduced price lunches like traditional public schools (52 percent favored, 38 percent opposes), should be required to hire certified teachers (64-28), and should be required to provide transportation (48-45).

The poll showed substantial opposition to taxpayer-funded vouchers for parents who wish to send their children to private or religious schools, with 56 percent opposing the policy and only 39 percent in favor.

By contrast, the poll shows broad support for traditional public schools, including support for maintaining tax revenue. 66 percent support maintaining tax revenue at current levels to avoid cuts in public education generally; 55 percent specifically support maintaining revenue to protect Smart Start and More at Four, the state’s early childhood education programs.

Each month, the staff of NC Policy Watch works with nationally recognized, Raleigh-based polling firm, Public Policy Polling to sample public opinion on timely issues impacting state policy debates. This month’s Carolina Issues Poll covered public education and, in particular, charter schools.
 
The Crucial Conversation, held Wednesday at Marbles Kids Museum in downtown Raleigh, featured expert speakers on education policy, including Dr. Helen Ladd, the Edgar Thompson Professor of Public Policy Studies and professor of economics at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy. Most of Dr. Ladd’s current research focuses on education policy.
 
North Carolina State Rep. Rick Glazier of Cumberland County also spoke. Glazier is one of the General Assembly’s most knowledgeable and thoughtful voices on a wide array of issues – especially public education. He is currently the sponsor of legislation that would lift the state’s cap on the number of charter schools.
 
From March 21 to 23, PPP surveyed nearly 700 registered voters throughout North Carolina regarding their attitudes on some of the high-profile issues currently before the General Assembly – including charter schools, the requirements placed upon them, and governance issues. The poll also gauged the opinions of voters on proposed cuts to education, preservation of current state taxes and the participation of non-public school students on public school athletic teams.

 

 FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Rob Schofield, NC Policy Watch, rob@ncpolicywatch.com; 919.861.2065; Jeff Shaw, Director of Communications, NC Justice Center, jeff@ncjustice.org, 503.551.3615.