Tennessee Poll: Overwhelming Support for School Choice

As the Foundation for Excellence in Education’s National Summit on Education Reform kicks off in Nashville today, a new poll of 625 Tennessee voters conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy shows that 65 percent of Tennesseans support the issue of school choice. When told that President Trump was strongly in favor of school choice, supporters were 42 percent more likely to support it. The poll also received broad bipartisan support, with 78 percent of Republicans, 60 percent of Independents, and 52 percent of Democrats supporting the issue. There was also considerable geographic support for school choice across the three regions of the state, with 68 percent of East Tennessee voters supporting school choice, along with 64 percent of Middle Tennessee voters and 63 percent of West Tennessee voters.

The American Federation for Children released the following statement from Shaka Mitchell, the new State Director of the Tennessee Federation for Children:

“Tennesseans have demonstrated time and again in public surveys and in the voting booth that they believe parents should have options when it comes to their child’s education. They fundamentally want to see their tax dollars follow their child in their K-12 education, whether that’s at a traditional district public school, public charter school, magnet school, private school, or at a blend of options to customize the education to fit the student’s needs. While Tennessee has made progress over the years, still too many children are trapped in schools that simply aren’t meeting their needs. They deserve access to a seat in a better school today. As we enter into a critical election year for 2018, we hope that gubernatorial and legislative candidates across the Volunteer State recognize that voters overwhelmingly support giving parents more choices and control in the education of their son or daughter.”

Polling questions:

“As you may know, school choice allows parents to use their child’s K through twelve education tax dollars to send their child to the public, charter, or private school that best serves their needs. With this in mind, would you say you support or oppose the concept of school choice?”

SUPPORT – 65%
OPPOSE – 22%
UNDECIDED – 13%

(IF “SUPPORT”)
“If knowing that President Trump is also strongly in favor of school choice, making it a key policy issue in his presidential agenda, would that make you more or less likely to support the concept of school choice?”

MORE LIKELY – 42%
LESS LIKELY – 12%
NO EFFECT/NOT SURE – 46%

The poll was conducted on behalf of the American Federation for Children from November 17 – 20. The margin of error for the poll was +/- 4 points.