September 19, 2022

New Study Shows Voter Support for School Choice at Historic High, and Voters are Ready to Take this Sentiment to the Ballot Box

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What’s a Rich Text element?
What’s a Rich Text element?

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National survey also reveals support for education options, including full-time online learning, cuts across party lines, racial identities and trends highest with younger voters

ARLINGTON, VA – A new national survey conducted by WPA Intelligence of voters reveals nearly three-fourths of voters believe America’s public schools are headed in the wrong direction, and more than 8 in 10 voters support empowering parents with a choice in their child’s education.

The poll also found that voters are ready to take their support for school choice to the ballot box, as voters say they would be more likely to support a candidate who supports school choice with expanded educational options and money following the student by a 54-13 margin. This view was consistent across party lines, with 65% of Republicans, 56% of Independents and 45% of Democrats agreeing with this sentiment.

According to the findings:

  • Overall, 62% of voters identifying as parents believe America’s public schools are headed on the wrong track.  This cut across party lines as 63% of Republicans, 66% of Independents and 55% of Democrats agreed. This sentiment was also reflected across racial identities as 62% of White voters, 59% of Hispanic and 46% of African American agreed.
  • 82% of voters support allowing parents to choose the best school for their child.
  • 73% of voters agree students should have access to full-time virtual schools, including 80% of Democrats age 18-54 years-old, 79% of African Americans and 77% of Independent men.
  • 74% of voters agree funding should follow the student to the school of their parent’s choice, including some 85% of Republicans, 75% of Independents and 67% of Democrats; 82% of Hispanics and 79% of African Americans; and 81% of parents.

In addition to the strong support for school choice, the survey also shows what parents value when choosing the right school for their child:

  • 23% curriculum
  • 18% teacher quality
  • 14% religious or family values
  • 12% distance from home
  • 10% safety
  • 9% school ranking
  • 3% state test scores
  • 3% extracurricular activities

“These results reflect what we’ve been saying for years: parents and voters are fed up with the status quo in education,” said Letrisha Weber, Parent President of the National Coalition for Public School Options. “There is a surge in support for education choice brewing across the country, fueled by our experiences navigating our children’s education during the pandemic.

“Teachers Unions and politicians used our children as pawns during the pandemic, and now our children are suffering the consequences in the form of learning losses and possible behavioral and mental health issues,” continued Weber. “Parents are done sitting on the sidelines. We want change, and we aren’t afraid to head to the ballot box to demand something different—and better—for our children.”

The full study and its findings are available here.

The National Coalition for Public School Options (PSO) is a national alliance of parents that supports and defends parents’ rights to access the best public school options for their children. The coalition supports the creation of public school options, including charter schools, online schools, magnet schools, open enrollment policies, and other innovative education programs. Additionally, we advocate for free and equal access without restrictions to these public schools for all children

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