A new High Point University poll, out this week, gives a look at North Carolinians’ view of public education in the state.
Overall, 43 percent of those polled said they believe public education in North Carolina is headed in the wrong direction. Another 31 percent said they believe it is headed in the right direction and 26 percent didn’t answer or said they don’t know.
Using grades from A to F, 35 percent of those in the poll said they would give the quality of the state’s public schools a “C.” The percentage giving it that grade among registered voters in the poll was essentially the same, at 36 percent.
Sixty-five percent of those polled said they believe North Carolina public school teachers are paid too little and 51 percent said they would be willing to pay more in taxes so that teachers would be paid at the level of the national average within five years. Among registered voters, the percentage who said they would be willing to pay more in taxes was slightly higher at 53 percent.
The survey also asked respondents whether they believe most people had respect for certain public officials or categories of people involved with public education.
The highest marks for respect went to public school teachers, with 70 percent. The lowest went to state legislators and school boards, with 46 percent and 47 percent respectively saying they believe most people have respect for them. Fifty-seven percent of respondents said they believe most people have respect for the governor. Those percentages were similar among registered voters in the state.
A majority in the poll also said they would be in favor of a statewide bond referendum to provide funds to school districts for the estimated $8 billion to $10 billion backlog in school construction and renovation. The state hasn’t seen such a statewide bond referendum since 1997.
Full results from the survey and information about methodology can be found here.