Majority of Californians Support SB 50; 73% Give Public Schools ‘C’, ‘D’, or ‘F’

Change Research
Apr 11 · 3 min read

New Change Research polling from California shows that over 60 percent of all voters in that state support Senate Bill 50, which would change zoning codes to allow taller residential buildings near public transit and increase affordable housing and tenant protections. Californians select housing affordability as the biggest issue facing their state right now. They also believe that public schools in their state are performing poorly, but oppose the expansion of charter schools.

SB 50 Has Strong Support in California

61% of Californians support Senate Bill 50. 22% indicate that they strongly support” the bill, while another 39% indicate that they somewhat support the bill:

Support for California’s SB 50

An overwhelming 88% of Californians agree that “housing affordability is a big problem in my area,” and housing affordability topped the list of respondents’ biggest issues facing California right now, with 43% including it as one of their top issues.

However, regard of housing affordability as a major issue is split sharply along partisan lines: while 59% of Democrats regard it as one of their top issues, only 13% of Republican respondents agree, with 71% selecting illegal immigration and 36% selecting taxes instead. 41% of Republican respondents support SB 50, compared to 72% of Democrats.

Californians Grade Public Schools Poorly

When asked what grade they would give to “public elementary and secondary schools in the state of California,” only 18% of respondents chose ‘A’ or ‘B’. The plurality, or 39%, selected ‘C’, while 20% chose ‘D’ and 14% chose ‘F’:

Californians’ grades for their public school system

However, a slight majority of Californians oppose charter schools. 54% said that they oppose the expansion of charter schools, while 38% indicated that they support expansion.

Respondents were more likely to believe that schools should be more aggressive in letting go of bad teachers (46%) than that teachers should have more job security (27%), though 27% indicated that they did not have an opinion. Respondents’ views on teacher unions were mixed: 44% believe they have a positive effect on schools in their community, while 16% were neutral and 27% believe they have a negative effect.

Views on teacher tenure and unions notwithstanding, respondents strongly feel that California teacher salaries are too low. Only 6% believe that teacher salaries are too high, and 16% feel that they are about right; 29% believe they are a bit too low, and a striking 42% feel that they are way too low.

Click here for full poll toplines.

Change Research surveyed 3,379 registered voters in California from April 6–9. The survey was conducted online, using Change Research’s Bias Correct Engine. Post-stratification was done on age, gender, ethnicity, and 2016 presidential vote. The margin of error, as traditionally calculated, is ± 2.2%.

This is one of over 100 polls Change Research will be conducting this year as part of our 2020 Change polling subscription product. Most will be available to subscribers only. Please contact us for more information.

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