Wisconsin's Voters Show Strong Support for School Choice
New Survey by American Federation for Children Polled Likely Voters in Swing Districts
(MILWAUKEE) Sept. 4, 2014 – The American Federation for Children, the nation’s voice for educational choice, released a poll today that found a majority of voters in Wisconsin’s swing legislative districts support expanding school choice.
“The majority of voters in key areas of Wisconsin support expanding educational choice,” said Kevin P. Chavous, executive counsel to the American Federation for Children. “Moreover, coveted independent voters are quite supportive of expanding existing school choice programs and would like to see current restrictions on these initiatives eliminated.”
The survey of these districts also found that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has a one point lead over his Democratic challenger, Madison School Board member Mary Burke (47 percent to 46 percent, respectively).
More than six-in-ten respondents (63 percent) favor empowering parents with the right to allow the tax dollars associated with the education of their children to follow their children to the public or private school of the parents’ choice. Importantly, 62 percent of independent voters favor educational choice, while only are 30 percent are opposed.
When asked if respondents favor various educational reform proposals, the responses were equally as impressive.
“Expanding Wisconsin’s statewide school choice program so that it would allow any working class Wisconsin parent to use taxpayer dollars to send their child to the public, private or religious school of their choice. The law currently only allows the poorest parents to be in the program.” (60 percent total favor, 33 percent strongly favor, only 32 percent opposed)
“Eliminating the cap on Wisconsin’s statewide school choice program so that more than 1,000 children can use taxpayer dollars to attend the public, private or religious school of their parents’ choice.” (56 percent total favor, 35 percent strongly favor, only 38 percent oppose)
“Requiring all students in public schools, charter schools, and private schools in the voucher program to take similar academic tests so that the schools can then be graded and held accountable for their performance.” (83 percent total favor, 62 percent strongly favor, only 13 percent oppose)
“Voters recognize the power and importance of educational choice and these results demonstrate that school choice could be a deciding issue in key parts of the state and within tight races this fall,” Chavous added.
NMB Research polled 500 likely voters from swing legislative districts in Wisconsin on August 20 and 21, 2014. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 4.38 percent.
The NMB Research polling memo can be found here: http://bit.ly/1u45MQn.
The American Federation for Children is the nation’s leading school choice advocacy organization and works in states across the country to help secure additional, high-quality educational options for families.
Kevin P. Chavous is a noted attorney, author, and national school reform leader. A former member of the Council of the District of Columbia and a former chairman of D.C.’s Education Committee, Chavous was responsible for enacting numerous education reforms in D.C. Chavous also presides as board chair for Democrats for Education Reform and is a former chair of the Black Alliance for Educational Options.