Poll: Public Support for School Choice Remains Strong, Supportive of Federal Movement to Increase School Choice

AFC releases 2017 National Poll

The American Federation for Children, the nation’s voice for educational choice, released its third annual National School Choice Poll conducted by Democratic polling firm Beck Research. Results show support for school choice has remained strong with 68% indicating support for the concept. School choice programs, including innovative education saving accounts, opportunity scholarship and special needs scholarships, all garnered majority support as well.

“In the aftermath of the decisive 2016 elections, school choice remains a bipartisan issue with strong support among key demographics across the country,” said Kevin P. Chavous, board member of the American Federation for Children. “The results of this poll demonstrate that the public is ready to change the education status quo and allow children and families to customize their education to meet their unique learning needs.”

In the three consecutive years that AFC has conducted this poll, support for school choice has remained consistently high year to year. While there have been some partisan shifts in support, likely due to the recent political climate, strong majorities remain on both sides of the aisle.

This year’s poll also explored the favorability of school choice proposals that may be introduced in Congress and movement at the federal level. President-elect Trump’s plan to shift $20 billion in funding to school choice received 51% support with 35% opposing. Another proposal to create a scholarship tax credit program was supported by 72% of respondents with 23% opposing.

Poll’s key findings:

  • Support for school choice has remained consistently high with 68% supporting and only 28% opposing
    • 40% of those in favor strongly support the concept
    • Results in 2016 and 2015 were 70% and 69% support respectively staying consistent and within the margin of error
  • School choice support is bipartisan with majorities from each political party
  • 84% of Republicans, 55% of Democrats and 67% of Independents indicated support for school choice
  • The pro-school choice coalition is diverse with majority support from Latinos (75%), African Americans (72%) and Millennials (75%)
  • 83% of respondents support special needs scholarships with only 13% opposing
  • Education savings accounts or ESAs saw a jump in support from past year’s surveys with 69% supporting this innovative form of school choice, up from 65% last year
    • 80% of Millennials and 76% of Latinos support ESAs

The poll was conducted January 2-5 2017 of 1,100 likely voters. The margin of error was +/- 3.5%.

Full polling memo and results: http://bit.ly/2igsO9A.