Skip to content

New poll: Americans continue to support school choice

children-4-e1483635213663

A new survey shows that almost two-thirds of Americans support school choice despite a constant onslaught of attacks from the media, teachers unions, and similar organizations.

In a new survey, which was commissioned by American Federation for Children and conducted by Beck Research, 63 percent support “giving parents the right to use tax dollars designated for their child’s education to send their child to the public of private school which best serves their needs.”

Just 33 percent oppose the idea.

And on a national level the coalition of support remains pretty broad. There is majority support across party and racial lines that we see in few other areas.

Specifically:

  • 75 percent of Republicans support school choice
  • 72 percent of Latinos support school choice
  • 66 percent of African Americans support school choice
  • 64 percent of millennials support school choice
  • 62 percent of independents support school choice
  • 61 percent of whites support school choice
  • 54 percent of Democrats support school choice

Education Savings Accounts, which Mississippi enacted for students with special needs in 2015, continue to grow in support as they become more well known. Seventy-five percent of Americans now support ESAs, up from 69 percent last year. As with the general question about school choice, ESAs are popular among various demographics.

ESAs allow parents to use a portion of the state money that is designated for their child’s education on various educational services, including private school tuition and fees, textbooks, tutoring, therapy, transportation, etc.

This year, legislation was proposed to expand the ESA to most students in Mississippi. However, it was killed before legislators took a floor vote.

On the federal level, Americans are also supportive of Congress taking action on school choice. This has grown in prominence as a federal issue in large part because of President Donald Trump’s strong backing of the issue.

And in the age of a polarized Washington, this policy is widely supported. Sixty-seven percent of Americans support a federal scholarship tax credit compared to 28 percent who oppose the idea. Last year, as part of the larger tax reform policy, Congress expanded 529 savings accounts to use for K-12 education. While this was a good first step, it was a relatively small step that leaves many Mississippians out.

Policy

Support Oppose

School choice

63

33

Education savings accounts

75

19

Federal tax credit 67

28

Congress, and the Mississippi legislature, certainly have the support from the voters to take further action in providing parents the freedom to choose the right education for their child.