HPU Poll Finds Support For Teachers But Concerns About Direction Of Schools

HPU Poll Finds Support For Teachers But Concerns About Direction Of Schools

4:10pm Feb 16, 2017
Anthony Freeman, a teacher assistant at E.P. Pearce Elementary School in Greensboro, helps students with an exercise in phonics on Tuesday, June 3, 2014. WFDD file photo by Paul Garber

A new poll from High Point University finds North Carolinians strongly support more investment in education.

By large margins, respondents said teachers were paid too little (84 percent), and they supported tax increases to boost their pay to the national average (77 percent).

They also backed more money for schools with high percentages of low-income students, and for programs helping special needs students.

Martin Kifer is director of High Point’s Survey Research Center. He says this is the third time the university has polled on schools, and results show they remain a high priority for voters.

“People are concerned about jobs - they’re concerned about education,” he says. “They are two of the big things that they would like resources for the state to be devoted to.”

The poll also revealed concerns about the future. When asked what's in store for public education in North Carolina, 55 percent said it was headed in the wrong direction. That’s compared to 31 percent who thought things were going the right way, while 14 percent didn’t have an answer.

Kifer says the results in two previous polls showed similar results.

Another question looked at the state-mandated start-date for schools, which by law begins no earlier than the Monday closest to August 26. Almost 60 percent said school districts should be allowed flexibility to start at the same time as community colleges and universities, while 37 percent said state law should determine the start for all public schools.

The poll consisted of 405 North Carolina adults surveyed from Jan. 28 through Feb. 3. It has a margin of error of 4.9 percent.


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