Education policy may not have received any attention in this week’s presidential debate, but results from a series of polls in critical swing states suggest voters in general and Black voters in particular have strong feelings about the need for greater educational choice and charter schools. In August, at the request of the Manhattan Institute, Rasmussen Reports embedded a series of questions on school choice and charter schools into its state-wide polling in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and North Carolina. A new Manhattan Institute report released this week discusses the findings.
Among these states 46% to 52% of likely voters reported that they believe that giving parents the right to choose their children’s school raises the overall quality of K–12 education for students; only 18 to 20% believe that it lowers educational quality. Black respondents were more likely to believe that school choice raises educational quality.
Between 66% and 70% of all respondents supported the concept of publicly funded K-12 school choice; among Black respondents, 66% to 77% supported this. More than half of all respondents supported state funding of charter schools as an alternative to traditional local district-managed public schools; support for charter schools among Black respondents ranged from 58% to 67%.
Ray Domanico is a senior fellow and director of education policy at the Manhattan Institute. This piece is based on survey conducted for a new issue brief, School Choice: Public Opinion in Five Battleground States.
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