Raleigh, N.C. – Overwhelming majorities of Wake County voters support the new School Board’s efforts to end mandatory year round schools and to end the busing for diversity policy according to a new flash poll released today by the Civitas Institute.
When asked if they thought students should be assigned to mandatory year-round schools or whether parents should be given a choice between year round and traditional calendar, 74.9 percent of voters said parents should be given a choice. 18.1 percent said they supported mandatory year round schools. 7.1 percent were unsure or had no opinion.
Similarly, on the issue of busing for diversity, when asked if they supported or opposed the current policy of assigning students to schools based on achieving diversity instead of sending students to the school closest to home only 22.0 percent of voters supported the current busing for diversity policy. 68.3 percent of voters were opposed. 9.7 percent were unsure or had no opinion.
“The rhetoric of those who support diversity busing and mandatory year-round are nothing more than a very loud but small group of people. The fact of the matter is, those policies are supported by very few Wake County voters,” said Civitas Institute executive director Francis De Luca.
“The issues really aren’t even close despite the intensity of the debate. Three-fourths of voters support ending mandatory year-round. Two thirds of voters support ending busing for diversity. The new board has a clear mandate from voters to make changes,” added De Luca.
Additional results show Wake voters would rather send their child to the closest school (73.3%) rather than a diverse one further away (18.0%) and voters think neighborhood schools will increase parental involvement in schools (72.4%).
Opposition to diversity busing runs across all racial and political lines. It is opposed by 70.5 percent of whites and 59.2 percent of African-Americans. 58.5 percent of Democrats, 70.6 percent of unaffiliated and 79.7 percent of Republicans are in opposition.
“Diversity busing and mandatory year round have no base of support within Wake County except with the education establishment,” said De Luca.
Full text of questions:
Do you support the current school board policy of assigning some students to mandatory year round schools or should parents be given a choice between sending their child to a school that is year round or traditional calendar? You will have the choice to be undecided or have no opinion.
Support current policy for year round – 18.1%
Think parents should be given a choice – 74.9%
No opinion – 7.1%
Do you support or oppose the school board’s current policy of assigning students to schools based on achieving diversity, instead of sending students to the school closest to their home? You will also have the choice of being undecided.
Support the policy – 22.0%
Oppose the policy – 68.3%
No opinion – 9.7%
Hypothetically, would you rather send your child to a school that is closest to your home or one that is further away but would be more economically diverse? You will have the choice of being undecided.
Rather send to closest school – 73.3%
Further away but more diverse – 18.0%
No opinion – 8.7%
Do you believe that attending a neighborhood school would serve to increase parental involvement in their child’s school? You have the choice of being undecided.
Would increase parental involvement – 72.4%
Would not increase parental involvement – 13.8%
No opinion – 13.8%
This poll of 413 Wake County voters was conducted December 14, 2009 by Insider Advantage, Inc. of Atlanta, Georgia using Interactive Voice Response technology (IVR). It has a margin of error of 4.8%.