Raleigh, N.C. – As legislators look to deal with North Carolina’s budget deficit and its effect on public school education, there is bipartisan support among voters for removing the charter school cap, according to a new poll released today by the Civitas Institute.
According to the live caller poll of 600 likely voters, 73 percent said they favor changing state law to remove the 100 school limit and allow more public charter schools to open. Twenty-two percent of voters said they oppose the idea, and 4 percent said they do not know.
This is a 19 percent increase in support for removing the cap since a January 2010 Civitas poll when voters favored it by a 56 percent-24 percent margin.
“Voters understand that removing the 100 school cap would allow North Carolina parents to choose schools that deliver a quality education and work for their children,” said Civitas Institute President Francis De Luca.
The cap restricting the number of charters was enacted in 1996 and every bill submitted to lift the cap since has stalled in the General Assembly. Voters across the political spectrum favor removing the charter school cap. Republican (77 percent support-20 percent oppose) and Democratic voters (71 percent support-24 percent oppose) both support allowing more charter schools to operate. Unaffiliated voters favor removing the cap by a 74 percent-21 percent margin.
“There are currently over 20,000 students on waiting lists for charter schools and a number of counties with no access to a public charter school,” added De Luca. “It will be up to the General Assembly to heed the call of concerned parents across the state and grant more choice in public education.”
The Civitas Poll is the only monthly live-caller poll of critical issues facing North Carolina. For more information on Civitas polling see www.nccivitas.org/media/poll-results/.
Full text of question:
“Currently North Carolina state law has a limit of 100 public charter schools in North Carolina and some counties have no operating public charter schools. Would you favor or oppose changing the law to remove the 100 school limit and allow more public charter schools to open?”
Strongly Favor – 44%
Somewhat Favor – 30%
Somewhat Oppose – 9%
Strongly Oppose – 14%
Don’t Know – 4%
Total Favor – 73%
Total Oppose – 22%
Click here for full results and crosstabs.
This poll of 600 registered voters in North Carolina was conducted December 15-16, 2010 by Public Opinion Strategies of Alexandria, Virginia. This survey has a margin of error of +4.0% in 95 out of 100 cases. To ensure a representative sample, interviews were conducted proportional to voter registration figures for each county in the state based on the most recent figures compiled by the State Board of Elections.