Wednesday, November 20, 2013

N.C. Poll: Fund education before giving tax cuts

A poll released today shows what teachers and other education supporters - including the Observer's editorial board - has been shouting all year long: N.C. residents don't like cutting funding for public schools even if the savings are passed along to taxapyers in the form of a tax cut.

Sixty-eight percent of the respondents to a Public  Policy Polling survey taken during Nov. 8-11 said they opposed such shorting of education spending to cut taxes. And that view was shared across party or ideological lines. Eighty-four percent of people calling themselves somewhat liberal and 68 percent calling themselves very liberal opposed such cuts. Fifty-six percent  of those dubbing themselves as somewhat conservative and 51 percent of those dubbing themselves very conservative opposed the cuts. Eighty percent of moderates opposed cuts to education. 

By party, 77 percent of Democrats and 58 percent of Republicans opposed such school cuts; just 14 percent of Dems and 25 percent in the GOP supported the cuts. 

Just 19 percent of all respondents supported that idea of cutting public school funding, and the numbers were even low for conservatives - 24 percent for those somewhat conservative and 31 percent for those very conservative.

Gov. Pat McCrory, who along with the N.C. legislature has been criticized and protested against by dissatisfied teachers and education supporters, may have already gotten the message. The legislature passed a budget and new tax plan that cut taxes and slashed funding for public schools by millions. The budget gave teachers no pay raise, took away teacher assistants and raised class sizes. In recent days, McCrory has been on the stump publicly saying his administration is looking at options to increase pay for teachers.

He and N.C. lawmakers might want to take note of some other things the 701 likely voters in the state had to say in this poll. The majority - 62 percent - said they think an educated and well-trained workforce is more important to attracting businesses to locate and invest in the state than low corporate income tax rates.

Alex Sirota, head of the Budget & Tax Center that commissioned the poll, said it "highlights that when presented with the real trade-offs, the majority of North Carolinians favor investing in public education and building a quality workforce that can compete for good-paying jobs rather than cutting taxes."

North Carolinians rightly recognize that the biggest bang for the buck the state can get is through support for and boosting investments in education. The poll underscores that N.C. taxpayers are more than willing to put their money toward that cause. As lawmakers get ready for the short legislative session, they should keep that in mind and make adjustments accordingly.

 - Fannie Flono

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bobcat99 said...

I think the 25% of Republicans who support the cuts all post on the Observer comments. :) For the foreseeable future, NC will rise and fall with its devotion to education. Both Democrats and Republicans have shortchanged teacher pay and respect, but Republicans have gone a step further and insulted them. There will be no GOP Supermajority after 2014.

Archiguy said...

bobcat - You're correct, there won't be. But they're determined to do as much damage as they can before they go. Hopefully the voters won't easily forget, and this won't happen again for another 40 years.

There will be a gigantic mess to clean up in '14 - a discriminatory amendment to repeal, education infrastructure to rebuild, a health exchange to set up, restoring sensible tax rates, etc. It will be a big job.

Ettolrahc said...

Thank goodness this was commissioned and completed before the results of all our schools came out a few days ago.

Ettolrahc said...

Who knew we needed more money in our education system, they did not ask for it before?

Aubrey Moore said...

I don't think that anything is going to change the course for this group of legislators. Like the Blues Brothers, they see themselves on a missions from God and expect nothing less than the resistance they encounter from the forces of evil. This is about good and evil, you know, not effective government, for them. As my coffee cup says, "The difference between genius and ignorance is that genius has its limits." Voting them out of office, one by one is the only solution. With the spineless rubber chicken we call our governor, the future, otherwise, looks rather hopeless.

Tsao Nima said...

Money spent on "education" is wasted on half the students in the state anyway.

It's not a lack of money that's the problem, it's a lack of parental and student involvement in working for their education.

No amount of money will fix that.

Wiley Coyote said...

Public education is and has been failing since forced integration and busing.

That is a fact.

The highest graduation rate in the US was in 1969/1970 and hasn't been equaled since.

CMS as late as the late 90's continued the busing mantra and continues trying to run schools with a "diversity at all cost driving principle" agenda that has failed miserably.

Want to talk about funding?

Public schools are built on fraud, but no one wants to talk about that. The USDA overpays benefits in the National School Lunch Program - which dictates Title One funding - by $1.6 BILLION dollars per year and plate waste by students is $2 BILLION per year - thrown away.

LEAs can only audit 3% of applicants which is a joke. CMS has found 60% of respondents don't qualify for free or reduced lunches but there is nothing they can about it.

Once designated ED, students get free testing, free school supplies, play sports for free and many other freebies. This is pervasive throughout the country - ANOTHER fact.

We're wasting BILLIONS supposedly to "help kids" but LEAs have absolutely NO clue who really qualifies.

Than is a fact.

CMS has bigger issues that are only getting worse. Charters, home schooling, private schools and the fact Whites and Blacks are leaving CMS in droves and have been for years.

Depending on which Census number you use for Whites, 50 to 60 % for Mecklenburg County, CMS is barely 32% White.

I've said many times that the Legislature could have found money for teachers, but to try and pin public education ills on McCrory and Republicans is asinine.

How many times did Bevie rob the Education Lottery and also make education cuts?

I wouldn't expect anything different from Fannie "dubbing" problems in public education on the current administration.

CharlotteObserver said...

I am surprised we have not had the stories from folks who expect us to believe Teachers are going to soup kitchens.

RobNClt said...

Saw a documentary on education systems around the globe. Dan Rather commentated on AXS tv.

The countries with the best educated students, Singapore, Japan, China, etc. spends much less for per student than failing countries.

The U.S. spends more money per student than any other country and in some case ranked as low as #30 in the world. I think they highest we rank in any area was 12 to 17.

Class room sizes in Singapore, the best country for education in the world is 40 students per teacher and they do not have any teacher aids in their country. Yes, 40 students per teacher with no teacher aids and they don't spend any of the money we spend.

They do not use calculators in class, they learn how to do the problems the old way. They study in McDonald's in groups when they go to eat, they have tutoring centers in shopping centers.

Throw more money, get more of the same results. When will that stop? My predication is never and students will not stop failing as long as liberals keep throwing money.

alwaystomorroww said...

Its frustrating that the posters upset by teacher pay only voice raising taxes as the one solution. Its a crack hit. A short-term fix to an ongoing service. If raising teacher pay is so important, have any of you spent the first minute seeing where we can reduce spending elsewhere? spent any time contacting politicians to tell them to prioritze teacher pay first? Until advocates of higher taxes for teacher pay can honestly say they have done that, dont be so quick to tell me I should support a candidate willing to raise taxes in 8% UE. McCrory is doing just fine.

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