Brown's push to eliminate most state-driven earmarks and to direct more money to districts with impoverished students was supported by more than two of every three adults surveyed, according to the Public Policy Institute of California poll.
The nonpartisan, nonprofit think tank polled 1,705 adults on weekend days and weekday nights from April 2-9 on landlines and cellphones.
Brown's goal of giving school districts more spending flexibility by eliminating most state education earmarks -- funding restricted to specific programs -- was supported by 78 percent of adults surveyed.
Support dropped only slightly, to 71 percent, when pollsters asked about the governor's plan to direct more funding to districts with large numbers of impoverished students and English learners.
Among Californians considered likely voters, support rose to 79 percent for local spending flexibility but fell to 60 percent for funneling extra cash to districts with special needs tied to poverty or immigration.
On other issues, 12 percent of adults surveyed said their schools are doing an excellent job and 42 percent rate performance as good. Twenty-eight percent classify their schools are "not so good" and 11 percent as poor. The remainder had no opinion.
Sixty-five percent of Californians contacted said they would support a local school bond if it were on the ballot. Among likely voters, the number fell to 56 percent. Such bonds must reach approval of 55 percent to pass.
Sixty percent of adults - including 51 percent of likely voters - said they would support a parcel tax for local schools. Such measures need a two-thirds supermajority for passage.
Brown's overall job rating has risen since he took office: Forty-six percent of adults surveyed now approve of his performance, compared to 40 percent in April 2011. Thirty-one percent currently disapprove, and 22 percent have no opinion.
The poll carries a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points for questions asked of all adults surveyed.
Check out all the poll results here.
PHOTO CREDIT: Gov. Jerry Brown explains his budget proposal during a news conference at the California Capitol in Sacramento on Jan. 10, 2013. Randall Benton / Sacramento Bee