As lawmakers head back to Raleigh, a statewide poll conducted on behalf of the Carolina Partnership for Reform shows strong support for major education and tax reforms: merit pay raises for teachers, expansion of opportunity scholarships, tax cuts for the middle class, and the Constitutional Amendment known as the Taxpayer Protection Act.
A few of the key findings:
– 28% of voters say raising teacher pay is their top concern, closely followed by improving education at 27% and creating jobs and growing the economy at 38%.
– 52% of voters want teacher raises based on student achievement and teacher performance, while only 24% support raises based on years of experience.
– In addition, 58% support the opportunity scholarship program allowing low-income families to send their children to better schools, and 54% want to see the program expanded to cover the middle class.
– On taxes, 86% of voters support increasing the standard deduction to make the first $17,500 of family income tax free. This middle class tax cut has been championed by conservative reformers in the State Senate.
– The Taxpayer Protection Act, a Constitutional Amendment that handcuffs overspending politicians, enjoys broad support: It passes 58%-27%, with 14% undecided.
– A majority support House Bill 2, with 64% agreeing that repeal of the Charlotte ordinance by the legislature has more to do with bathroom safety, while 29% say the Charlotte bathroom ordinance was a reasonable accommodation for transgender people.