Author(s): Paul DiPerna
The “North Carolina K-12 & School Choice Survey” project, commissioned by the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice and conducted by Braun Research, Inc. (BRI), measures North Carolina registered voters’ familiarity and views on a range of K-12 education topics and school choice reforms. We report response levels and differences (often using the terms “net” or “spread”) of voter opinion, and the intensity of responses.
Where do North Carolinians stand on important issues and policy proposals in K-12 education? We try to provide some observations and insights in this paper.
A randomly selected and statistically representative sample of North Carolina voters recently responded to 20 substantive questions and 11 demographic questions. A total of 601 telephone interviews were conducted in English from June 18 to 24, 2012, by means of both landline and cell phone. Statistical results were weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies. The margin of sampling error for the statewide sample is ± 4.0 percentage points.
In this project we included several split-sample experiments. A split-sample design is a systematic way of comparing the effects of two or more alternative wordings for a given question. The purpose is to see if particular wording, or providing a new piece of information, can significantly influence opinion on a given topic. We were particularly interested in how wording can affect responses to questions on education spending, taxes, and school choice policies—all salient issues in North Carolina state politics and policy discussions.
Our polling paper has four sections. The first section summarizes key findings. We call the second section “Survey Snapshots,” which offers charts highlighting the core findings of the project. The third section describes the survey’s methodology, summarizes response statistics, and presents additional technical information on call dispositions for landline and cell phone interviews. The fourth section presents our questionnaire and results (“topline numbers”), essentially allowing the reader to follow the actual interview as it was conducted, with respect to question wording and ordering.
Enacted 2011 • Launched 2011
North Carolina allows parents of children with special needs to claim a tax credit for
educational expenses, including private school tuition, therapy, and tutoring. Savings from the
program are placed in a fund for public schools’ special needs programs. Unused tax credits
can be carried forward for up to three years.