Nationwide Poll Shows Growing Support for School Choice

~ from Tennessee Federation for Children

Education Next, a project of Harvard university, recently released their annual poll on education, and this year’s edition shows growing support for school choice across the country since 2016. As Tennessee looks to implement its Education Savings Account program for the 2020-2021 school year, keep in mind that support for similar school choice programs continues to gain in popularity nationally. In case you missed it…

Key takeaways:

  • Support for vouchers for all families has risen from 45% in 2016 to 55% today.
  • Support for vouchers for low-income families has risen from 37% in 2016 to 49% today.
  • Support for tax credit scholarships has risen from 53% in 2016 to 58% today.
  • Support for charter schools has decreased slightly since 2016, from 51% to 48%, though support from African American and Hispanic families has increased.

Here’s the breakdown on the questions EdNext asked:

Vouchers for All Families:

A proposal has been made that would give all families with children in public schools a wider choice, by allowing them to enroll their children in private schools instead, with government helping to pay the tuition. Would you support or oppose this proposal?

General Public: 55%
Parents: 62%
Teachers: 37%
White: 53%
Black: 62%
Hispanic: 62%
Republicans: 61%
Democrats: 52%
Union-member public school teachers: 21%
Non-union public school teachers: 47%

Vouchers for Low-Income Families:

A proposal has been made that would give low-income families with children in public schools a wider choice, by allowing them to enroll their children in private schools instead, with government helping to pay the tuition. Would you support or oppose this proposal?

General Public: 49%
Parents: 56%
Teachers: 39%
White: 42%
Black: 66%
Hispanic: 69%
Republicans: 44%
Democrats: 52%
Union-member public school teachers: 21%
Non-union public school teachers: 50%

Tax Credit Scholarships:

A proposal has been made to offer a tax credit for individual and corporate donations that pay for scholarships to help low-income parents send their children to private schools. Would you favor or oppose such a proposal?

General Public: 58%
Parents: 59%
Teachers: 49%
White: 55%
Black: 66%
Hispanic: 67%
Republicans: 65%
Democrats: 56%
Union-member public school teachers: 29%
Non-union public school teachers: 59%

Charter Schools:

As you may know, many states permit the formation of charter schools, which are publicly funded but are not managed by the local school board. These schools are expected to meet promised objectives, but are exempt from many state regulations. Do you support or oppose the formation of charter schools?

General Public: 48%
Parents: 50%
Teachers: 42%
White: 48%
Black: 55%
Hispanic: 51%
Republicans: 61%
Democrats: 40%
Union-member public school teachers: 28%
Non-union public school teachers: 50%

Check out the full story on the EdNext poll here.

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