Raleigh, N.C. – A new poll released today by the Civitas Institute shows North Carolina voters are dissatisfied with spending on public schools.
When told North Carolina spends an average of $8,500 per student per year, 66 percent of voters said taxpayers are not a getting a good return on investment. Twenty-six percent said taxpayers are getting a good return and 8 percent said they do not know.
“This validates what we’ve long felt: the issue is results, not money. We have to find a way to do better with what we have,” said Civitas Institute senior policy analyst Bob Luebke.
In response to a previous question which asked if North Carolina spends too much on K-12 education, not enough or spends the right amount, 59 percent of voters said not enough, 13 percent responded too much, and 22 percent think the right amount is spent. The question made no reference to the actual amount of state spending per-pupil.
“Education is certainly an issue being covered a lot in the local media. However, our poll results suggest there hasn’t been much emphasis on the facts and the real numbers behind budgets,” added Luebke. “It’s apparent that when people are provided additional information it changes how they think.”
The Civitas Poll is the only regular live-caller poll of critical issues facing North Carolina. For more information on Civitas polling see http://www.nccivitas.org/category/poll/.
Full Text of Questions:
“Does North Carolina spend too much on K-12 public education, not enough on public education, or does it spend about the right amount?”
Too Much – 13%
Right Amount – 22%
Not Enough – 59%
Don’t Know/Refused – 6%
“North Carolina actually spends about $8,500 each year in total tax dollars per student on K-12 education. Knowing North Carolina spends $8,500 per student on K-12 education is that too much, too little or about the right amount?”
Too Much – 18%
Right Amount – 34%
Not Enough – 40%
Don’t Know/Refused – 8%
“In your opinion, do you think North Carolina taxpayers are getting a good return on their investment of $8,500 per student per year?”
Yes – 26%
No – 66%
Don’t Know /Refused – 9%
Click here for full results and crosstabs.
This poll of 600 registered general election voters in North Carolina was conducted May 10-11, 2011 by National Research, Inc. of Holmdel, NJ. All respondents were part of a fully representative sample of registered voters in North Carolina. For purposes of this study, voters interviewed had to have voted in two of the past four general elections or were newly registered to vote since 2008.
The confidence interval associated with a sample of this size is such that: 95 percent of the time, results from 600 interviews (registered voters) will be within +/-4% of the “True Values.” True Values refer to the results obtained if it were possible to interview every person in North Carolina who had voted in two of the past four general elections or were newly registered to vote since 2008.