News: Quick Takes

Poll: Support For School Choice Increasing, Diversifying

Solid majorities of minorities, millennials, Republicans, Democrats, and independents back educational options

Grass-roots support for school choice is surging among millennial, Hispanic, and black voters around the nation, according to a recent poll from the American Federation for Children.

AFC, an organization working to expand school choice for K-12 students in the United States, found that 70 percent of Americans express support for the issue, with 64 percent of voters saying they are more likely to vote for a candidate who favors expanding educational freedom.

“The most important finding from today’s poll is that the concept of school choice has strong support among voters — and in nearly every category we saw modest or incremental growth in support for school choice compared to 2015 results,” said Matt Frendewey, national communications director for AFC. “These factors will be critical as we move into the 2016 election cycle.”

Topping the list of those who are paying attention to school choice issues this election season are millennial, Hispanic, and African-American voters, with 75, 76, and 76 percent of each group respectively showing support for more options in education.

Support for school choice among Democrats also has increased significantly, reaching 65 percent this year, as compared to just 60 percent in 2015. Independents and Republicans maintain their standings from last year, with each group showing 66 and 80 percent in favor, respectively.

“In 2014, the teachers’ unions anti-school choice message was rejected by voters, and in close races like Florida, Gov. Rick Scott’s support for school choice helped to double his support among African American voters, which was crucial to his victory,” said Kevin Chavous, founding board member of AFC. “This poll proves what we’ve known for a long time — candidates who reject school choice will pay a political price.”

The January 2016 poll, which is the second annual school choice study performed by AFC, surveyed 1,100 likely voters on questions regarding educational choice, vouchers, and charter schools.

To read more about AFC’s findings, click here.