Civitas Review

ESAs: What do North Carolinians think?



Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) are an increasingly popular tool for expanding educational opportunity.  Two states, Arizona and Florida, currently operate ESA programs. Three other states — Mississippi, Tennessee and Nevada recently approved laws to create ESA programs — while a number of other states are considering ESA legislation.  ESAs are funded by transferring a percentage of the state’s per student support to a parent-controlled account.  Parents can use the funds to pay for a variety of educational expenses such as tuition, books and tutoring. The June Civitas Poll asked North Carolinians whether they favor or oppose the idea of “Education Savings Accounts.” How did voters respond?

58 % Total Favor
27 % Total Oppose

33% Strongly Favor
25% Somewhat Favor
10% Somewhat Oppose
16% Strongly Oppose
15% Undecided/Don’t Know

The bottom line: North Carolinians support ESAs by a better than 2 to 1 margin.

Find out what North Carolina thinks about important policy issues; read the Civitas June Poll.

Poll: Parents want right to opt-out



If you're concerned about education, the June Civitas Poll has some interesting and encouraging results. Among other things, the poll asks questions on school choice and data collection efforts to help create a "child profile". We'll feature results on individual questions on this blog in the coming days.

Today lets talk about parental attitudes toward creation of a "child profile." Our poll asked:

Government agencies want to collect performance data on students for research purposes. The Department of Public Instruction is implementing  a new assessment rating system which would begin with 5 year olds in Kindergarten. The data collected will begin a “child profile,” and be stored electronically in the cloud. With that in mind, would you support or oppose providing parents the ability to opt-out their child from this rating system and data collection? 

Responses divided along the following lines:

69 percent Total Support
21 percent Total Oppose
55 percent Strongly Support
14 percent Strongly Support
9 percent Somewhat Oppose
12 percent Strongly Oppose
9 Don't Know/ Need more information.

The numbers indicate that parents clearly want to know what data is being collected about students. Moreover, parents want to choose whether to participate in such efforts. Now if only our local districts thought the same way….

Should the South Ban '18'?


NC Capitol Connection's Matt Caulder continues his columns on the Confederate flag controversy. In this one, he reflects on how a symbol may have multiple meanings. That is, neo-Nazis have appropriated the number 18, because Adolf Hitler's initials are the first and eighth letters of the alphabet. So do we skip 18, just as some buildings once omitted an "unlucky" 13th floor?

More to the point, if the Ku Klux Klan uses the Confederate flag as a symbol of hatred, even in the North, what does that have to do with those who see the flag as a symbol of regional pride? Check out the column and its companion pieces for insights on this issue.

CLF Talks with Chad Adams about Obamacare, Transparency, and More


Yesterday, I sat down with Chad Adams of the Freedom Action Network  to discuss the Supreme Court's ruling on the Affordable Care Act, as well as what the Center for Law and Freedom is and what we are up to. If you missed the interview, you can listen to it in its entirety here.

Anyone with additional questions about the activities of the Center for Law and Freedom can contact us at

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