Americans strongly support school choice, confidence in public schools improving is low

A new national poll of over 2,000 registered voters shows strong school choice support and concern with the American public education system.

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A new national poll of over 2,000 registered voters shows strong school choice support and concern with the American public education system.

The RealClear Opinion Research survey confirmed the popularity of educational choice (68 percent) among voters in every category, from age to race to political party. Support for a federal tax credit program that would provide scholarships for students to attend the public, private, or career and technical schools of their choice came in at 70 percent. And nearly 70 percent of respondents would select, if it was their decision, a non-district public school as the learning environment that would give their child the best education.

Below is a breakdown by category.

Question: School Choice

School choice gives parents the right to use the tax dollars designated for their child’s education to send their child to the public or private school which best serves their needs. Generally speaking, would you say you support or oppose the concept of school choice?

Support 

All: 68%

Source: RealClear Opinion Research

 

Question: Federal Tax Credit Scholarship (Education Freedom Scholarships)

Do you support or oppose a federal tax credit proposal in Congress where individuals and businesses could donate to non-profit scholarship granting organizations in the states that would provide scholarships for students to attend the public, private or career and technical schools of their choice?

Support:

All: 70%

Source: RealClear Opinion Research


Question: School Preference

If it was your decision and you could select any type of K-12 school, what type of school would you select in order to obtain the best education for your child?

Source: RealClear Opinion Research

When asked about the country’s public education system, a majority of respondents in both parties (55 percent Democrats, 50 percent Republicans) rated it as “fair” or “poor.”

Moreover, Americans have little confidence that public schools will improve any time soon.
Thirty percent of voters believe America’s K through 12 education system will be “below average” or “poor and unable to adapt to shifting priorities” over the next twenty years.

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Catrin Wigfall
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Catrin Wigfall is a Policy Fellow at Center of the American Experiment.

Catrin’s experience in education and policy research began during her time with the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation. Her interest in education policy led her to spend two years teaching 5th grade general education and 6th grade Latin in Arizona as a Teach for America corps member. She then used her classroom experience to transition back into education policy work at the California Policy Center before joining American Experiment in February 2017.

Catrin graduated summa cum laude from Azusa Pacific University in California, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science.