After Tumultuous Year for Education, Support for School Choice Remains Strong, Survey Finds | Beaufort County Now | A new survey from a national school-choice advocacy organization finds broad and stable support for educational choice heading into 2021. | carolina journal, tumultuous year, education, school choice, new survey, january 28, 2021

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After Tumultuous Year for Education, Support for School Choice Remains Strong, Survey Finds

Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the Carolina Journal. The author of this post is David N. Bass.

    A new survey from a national school-choice advocacy organization finds broad and stable support for educational choice heading into 2021.

    The survey, conducted by Beck Research and released by the American Federation for Children, was of likely general election voters and found school choice favored by a 65% to 25% margin — including 66% of public-school parents. The enthusiasm gap is also large: 43% of respondents "strongly favor" school choice, compared to just 13% who "strongly oppose."

    Backing for school choice appears even stronger among families most impacted by school closures due to COVID-19, with support higher among K-12 parents working full-time and among middle- and high-school families (both at 72% support).

    Minority communities were also more likely to give school choice a thumbs up, with 74% of African Americans and 71% of Latinos supporting the concept. Support cuts across party lines — 82% of Republicans, 69% of independents, and 55% of Democrats favor school choice.

    As for specific types of educational choice, 77% of voters support public charter schools and 74% back school vouchers that allow middle- and low-income families to send their child to the school they deem best.

    "Once again, this polling confirms that parents are waking up and taking the reins when it comes to their child's education," said John Schilling, president of the American Federation for Children. "The pandemic showed all of us how inflexible schools truly are and parents took it upon themselves to place their children in places that best fit them. It is very clear that families are desperate for education alternatives."

    In another indication of the pandemic's impact on the public's perception of school choice, a RealClear Opinion Research survey found that support for school choice jumped 10 percentage points between April and August, 2020.

    This is School Choice Week, a time dedicated to shining a light on effective education options for children and is the world's largest celebration of opportunity in K-12 education, the School Choice Week website says.

    David Bass is a freelance writer for Carolina Journal.


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