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Voters think teachers unions are too powerful, new poll finds

November 20, 2011 | 12:00 pm

About half of California voters believe that teachers unions are too powerful, a new poll has found.

The bipartisan survey, conducted by the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and the Los Angeles Times, also found that the views of voters aligned fairly closely with teachers unions on key issues, such as funding for schools. But that didn’t prevent many from having reservations about the role of unions in education and politics.

Overall, 52% of voters agreed with the statement that teachers unions are too powerful; 36% disagreed. And more voters took the position that teacher unions “are resistant to reforms that would improve schools.”

Still, more voters also agreed that teacher unions “know the best way to improve education because they are in the classroom every day.”

Pollsters from Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, a Democratic firm, and American Viewpoint, a Republican company, surveyed 1,500 registered California voters from Oct. 30 to Nov. 9. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 2.52 percentage points.

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— Howard Blume

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