With thousands of North Carolina educators preparing to once again march to the General Assembly on May 1 for better public school funding, a new poll finds widespread support for the educators’ demands among North Carolina voters.
The NCAE’s demands for the May 1 day of action include the following:
- Provide enough school librarians, psychologists, social workers, counselors, nurses, and other health professionals to meet national standards
- Provide a $15 minimum wage for all school personnel, 5% raise for all support staff, teachers, admins, and a 5% cost of living adjustment for retirees
- Expand Medicaid to improve the health of our students and families
- Reinstate state retiree health benefits eliminated by the General Assembly in 2017
- Restore advanced degree compensation stripped by the General Assembly in 2013
The new poll, which was conducted on behalf of Progress NC Action and the NCAE last week, found that 60% of overall voters (including 47% of Republicans) do not think North Carolina is doing an adequate job to attract and retain high-quality educators. And 71% of voters (including 55% of Republicans) said they support the May 1 day of action.
Among the poll’s other findings:
- 69% (including 62% of Republicans) believe North Carolina teacher salaries are too low
- 77% (including 65% of Republicans) support providing enough school librarians, psychologists, social workers, counselors, nurses, and other health professionals to meet national standards
- 71% (including 56% of Republicans) support raising the minimum wage for school support employees like bus drivers, cafeteria workers, and teacher assistants
- 63% (including 45% of Republicans) support raising state income taxes on the wealthiest one percent in order to increase public education funding
- 51% of North Carolina voters approve of Gov. Roy Cooper’s job performance regarding public education, compared to just 33% approval for the Republican-controlled General Assembly
This poll shows that North Carolina voters are sick and tired of politicians giving lip-service to public education on the campaign trail, then doing nothing for our schools when it’s time to pass a budget. Lawmakers have repeatedly shown that they would rather give tax cuts to millionaires and big corporations instead of restoring classroom funding to pre-recession levels, and on May 1 they will hear once again from thousands of North Carolina educators who have had enough.