Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Strong Support Among Non-Union Teachers for School Choice

Stay tuned to this space in the next couple of weeks, as we'll be unveiling a fair amount of public polling research that speaks to current opinions on school choice as well as how those ideas have evolved over time.

In the meantime, though, we came across a survey released last week from the Association of American Educators. The AAE is one of the largest non-union teachers associations nationwide. It's made up of teachers at traditional public schools, public charter schools, and private schools.

People who oppose educational options for low-income kids often attack our movement as anti-teacher, forgetting that we believe teachers to be the backbone and lifeblood of strong education in this country. And, they musn't forget that the every one of the educational options for which we advocate is filled with teachers too.

That's all a long way of getting to the point of this post...that teachers support school choice too! The AAE surveyed its members on a host of education reform topics, finding strong support for many of them, including extremely high numbers when it comes to school choice.

Take a look:
While the union-backed establishment sees school choice as detrimental to the teaching profession, AAE member teachers support varied policies that empower parents to choose the learning environment best suited for their child:
  • 78% of survey respondents agree with a law in Oklahoma that provides a tax credit to individuals and corporations that donate to organizations providing "Opportunity Scholarships."
  • 61% of those surveyed agree with an Arizona law that provides tax credit scholarships to special education students in traditional public schools, allowing them to attend the public or private school of their choice.
Pretty good numbers, huh? You can read their full take here, but it all just goes to show that the sides of the school choice debate are not divided between pro- and anti-teacher. Teachers, just like everyone else, have varied and diverse views. But it's worth mentioning that among teachers who are not part of the bureaucratic system that benefits most from maintaining the status quo, support is through the roof.

Just some food for thought...

- American Federation for Children | Alliance for School Choice, MAG 

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