Polls sees trouble for Calif. school plan

March 23, 2013 at 1:00 PM

LOS ANGELES, March 23 (UPI) -- Half of California voters agree with a plan to shift more money to lower-income school districts, but a large percentage have doubts, a poll said Saturday.

The USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll said 39 percent of respondents opposed Gov. Jerry Brown's proposal to shift funding away from wealthier school districts to help bolster schools serving large numbers of poor and non-English speaking students.

The Times said Saturday the relatively high percentage of dissenters could spell trouble for Brown as he pushes the plan through the Legislature. "The challenge for the governor here is to make a case that this is not a divisive issue but a rising-tide-lifts-all-boats" proposal, said pollster Drew Lieberman.

Brown unveiled the plan in January, saying it was necessary to relieve the pressure on districts with limited resources that were trying to educate disadvantaged children.

Critics of the plan have labeled it class warfare, but proponents contend tax revenues should be applied to areas where it was needed and would provide the most benefits, the Times said.

The USC/Times poll was conducted jointly by Democratic and Republican pollsters. It surveyed 1,501 registered voters by telephone March 11-17 and carried a margin of error of 2.9 percentage points. The margin of error for the subgroup of Latino respondents was 4.9 percentage points.

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