Americans of all races and backgrounds are showing a dramatic shift in their support for school choice. It appears a large majority of Americans have reached a consensus in favor of school choice and policies that favor parental rights. This is a result from a new poll from the American Federation for Children and Invest in Education.
Tommy Schultz, CEO of the American Federation for Children, said “these poll numbers are stunning … a staggering majority.”
“The past two years have exposed to the world what many in the parental choice movement have known for decades,” Schultz said. “No single educational environment is right for every child.”
The survey was conducted by OnMessage, Inc., in telephone interviews between February 14 and February 17, surveying 1,000 voters likely to vote in the upcoming general election.
This poll revealed deeper currents in the school choice debate.
Three-quarters of respondents agreed that “parents should be in charge of decisions regarding their child’s education” and that “it is not fair that only wealthy parents truly get to decide where their child goes to school.” Majorities of Republicans (86 percent), Democrats (65 percent), and independents (74 percent) agreed with these characterizations. Among demographic groups, support for school choice includes 83 percent of Blacks and 77 percent of Hispanics.
The survey asked voters whether they believe that “parents should have the right to remove their children from a failing public school and enroll them in a school that is succeeding academically.” Eighty-three percent agreed, including three-quarters of Democrats. Nearly 90 percent of Black voters agreed, as did 85 percent of Hispanics.
The results of this survey match a poll by RealClear Opinion Research, which found that almost three-quarters of Americans say they support school choice.
No doubt, these results are partly due to some school districts stubbornly clinging to school closures long after it was medically necessary. But such a wide national shift must reflect something broader and deeper: The pandemic and online learning has given parents a good look into not only how children are being taught, but also into what they are being taught – and not taught at all.
(Hat tip to Alexandra DeSanctis)