Thursday, May 17, 2012

Support for School Choice: Polling of Likely Voters in Battleground States

The American Federation for Children and the Hispanic Council for Reform and Educational Options led a poll on support for education and school choice in five battleground states.  President Obama and Mitt Romney will be fighting to win Arizona, Florida, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Nevada—all important states in electoral college math.  This survey shows that both should not only make education a major part of the campaign, but should also pay attention to support of school choice among Latino voters.

Beck Research, a Democratic-leaning polling firm conducted a survey of support for school choice across five states from April 17-22.  Surveying 750 likely voters with 117 Latino likely voters, the poll found overwhelming support for school choice.

Education is a top tier issue for battleground voters and Latinos.

Opportunity Scholarships or Vouchers receive strong support, especially among Latinos and Key Target Groups. A majority supports Opportunity Scholarships (57% support - 39% oppose) and support is initially stronger among Latinos (69% support - 29% oppose).
    • 51 percent of likely voters support vouchers in Arizona, compared to 44 percent that oppose them.  Arizona is home to four private school choice programs, including the Arizona Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Program, which was expanded this week to include students attending failing schools, children in foster care, and children of military personnel.
    • 56 percent of likely voters support vouchers in Florida, compared to 40 percent that oppose them.  Florida is home to two private school choice programs: a special needs voucher program and a scholarship tax credit program for students from low-income families.
    • 62 percent of likely voters support vouchers in New Jersey, compared to 33 percent that oppose them.  Advocates are fighting to enact the Opportunity Scholarship Act, a scholarship tax credit program that will allow students from low-income families that attend the state’s worst performing schools to attend the school of their parents’ choice.
    • 57 percent of likely voters support vouchers in New Mexico, compared to 36 percent that oppose them.  The legislature considered two private school choice programs this legislative session: a program for students with special needs and a program for students from low-income families.
    • 55 percent of likely voters support vouchers in Nevada, compared to 42 percent that oppose them.

  • Special need scholarships, tax credit programs and Education Savings Accounts are very popular, signaling strong voter support for these tailored school programs. Special need scholarships are supported by an astonishing 74% of voters and 80% of Latinos.
  • Most voters (85% of voters and 91% of Latinos) think vouchers and tax credit scholarships in some form should be available; only 36% think they should be available to all students regardless of household income while 38% say vouchers should be available to middle class and low-income families. Few voters (11% of voters and 14% of Latinos) think vouchers should be restricted to low-income families. 

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

No comments:

Post a Comment