Category Archives: Education

What’s ahead for the General Assembly: guns, voter ID and fracking

The News & Observer gives a preview of what could be on the General Assembly’s dance card during the session that starts this week. We have polled North Carolina residents on several of the topics.

Gun control —  There was talk that one of the gun bills that surfaced last year would resurface. It would allow people who have permits to carry concealed weapons to take them into establishments that serve alcohol and into parks. Our poll showed that 56% of respondents do not want guns in restaurants or parks.

Voter ID — Watch for the GOP to attempt an override or even seek a compromise to get Democratic support in order to put a law in place before the November election. Our poll showed that 74%of North Carolina residents support the idea of a photo ID requirement before voting.

Fracking — A package of three bills – legalizing hydraulic fracturing, promoting offshore energy exploration, and creating a test program for fuel-producing grasses – will definitely be introduced and likely be approved. Our poll indicated that more than half of N. C. residents don’t know what “fracking” is.
While they’re at it, legislators might work on their own image. Our most recent poll showed that their approval rating is at 31%.
— John Robinson

Support for North Carolina public schools?

Are North Carolinians happy with their public schools? Depends on how you ask.

Earlier this month, the Civitas Institute, a conservative organization, released a poll that said “more than half (52 percent) of respondents rated North Carolina’s public school system as “Only fair” (37 percent) or “Poor” (15 percent).”

Today, N.C. Policy Watch, a progressive organization, released its Carolinas Watch poll that said that 48% of North Carolinians have a generally favorable impression of public schools vs. 34% unfavorable, and that 65% believe schools should get more funding.

For the record, last month’s Elon University Poll results show that most North Carolinians would support a temporary three-fourths of a cent sales tax to fund education 53% to 43%.

— John Robinson

Important issues? After the economy, it’s education

A month ago, we asked North Carolinians “what do you think is the most important issue facing the state of North Carolina?” (It was an open-ended question without prompts. They could answer what they liked.)

Fifty-three percent said the economy.

We asked the same question this week. Fifty-seven percent said the economy. The difference is within the 4.2% margin of error. Not much has changed in the past month, except that gas prices are breaking the $4 per gallon threshold and that’s probably enough to keep most North Carolinians worried. (The state’s unemployment rate dropped from 10.2% to 9.9%, but that was announced today, after the poll was taken.)

The second most frequently mentioned issue was education, at 10%. People are concerned about how their children are educated. We did not test responses on the proposed three-quarters of a cent education tax this month, but we did last month. It has support — 53% to 43%.

— John Robinson


Perdue: campaigning for the education tax

Gov. Bev Perdue continues to campaign for her proposal to increase the sales tax by three-quarters of a cent to fund education. Republican leaders in the General Assembly continue to declare the idea DOA.

Maybe she should refer them to the latest Elon University Poll that shows North Carolinians support such a levy 53% to 43%.

Education funding is already a big issue in the state and will get bigger as Election Day gets closer. The Wake County school system is trying to figure out how to avoid teacher layoffs. School systems across the state are struggling to deal with budget cuts. The governor and a conservative group are squabbling over who has done the most for education.

We have not polled on the state’s approval rating of the governor. She answered that question herself, somewhat, when she announced she would not seek a second term. We have polled on the approval rating of the General Assembly. It’s not good.

— John Robinson