National School Choice Poll: 63% of Likely 2018 Voters Support School Choice

4th annual survey shows popularity for a federal proposal, education savings accounts, and choice for military families 

The American Federation for Children, the nation’s voice for educational choice, and Beck Research, a respected Democratic polling firm, released their fourth annual National School Choice Poll today. The survey of 1,100 likely November 2018 voters demonstrated that despite relentless attacks throughout the past year by the teachers’ unions and education establishment, the concept of school choice is supported by 63 percent of likely voters. Innovative new proposals like a federal tax credit scholarship, school choice for military families, and education savings accounts remain very popular as the 2018 legislative sessions have kicked off around the country.

Statement from John Schilling, President of the American Federation for Children: 

“This year’s National School Choice Poll shows that families want educational opportunity and freedom when it comes to their child’s education. Almost all voters want private school choice options available in some form, public charter schools remain quite popular, and the concept of school choice is favorable across the nation’s ideological, geographic, and racial and ethnic backgrounds like no other issue in 2018. This is the time for policymakers to think boldly about putting students first and providing more and better educational options to ensure every child has access to a great education.”

Poll Details: 

  • Support for the concept of school choice remains strong: fully 63% support school choice, including 41% who strongly support it. 72% of Latinos, 61% of whites, 66% of African Americans, 75% of Republicans, 62% of Independents, and 54% of Democrats support school choice.

 

  • Almost all voters want private school choice available: 86% of voters believe that publicly-funded vouchers, tax credit scholarships, and education savings accounts should be available in some form.

 

  • A federal tax credit scholarship remains very favorable: 67% support a potential K-12 education tax credit proposal, despite the polarization of the electorate. The federal tax credit scholarship earns bipartisan support with 55% of Democrats, 69% of Independents, and fully 80% of Republicans favoring the possible measure.

 

  • For the first time, we polled support for school choice for military families: 77% of Americans support giving the children of active military members the ability to access the school of their choice. Support is highest from Latinos (82%), Millennials (80%) and Rural/Fringe (81%) voters.

 

  • Education savings accounts (ESAs) are increasingly popular: while still a relatively new form of choice that has been enacted in several states, their popularity has increased for the second year, now at 75% – up from 69% last year and 65% in 2016. 70% of Democrats, 78% of Independents, and 81% of Republicans support ESAs.

 

  • Public charter schools and special needs scholarships continue to have strong support: 72% support charter schools, and 83% support choice programs tailored to special needs students.

For more in-depth analysis of the poll, see the memo from Beck Research here: https://www.federationforchildren.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/1-18-18-AFC-2018-National-School-Choice-Release-Memo.pdf