A new poll from National School Choice Week uncovered that 52% of parents considered, or are considering, new schools for their children in the past year.
The poll, released Monday, asked parents with children between the ages of five and 18 if at any point in the past year they considered “finding a new or different school for any of the children” in their household? Eighteen percent of parents said they chose a new school for their kids, 20% said they looked into school choice options and decided against a switch, and 14% said they are “currently considering it.” An additional 47% of parents said they “wish [they] had more time to consider the schooling options” for their children.
The survey was conducted from Jan. 3 to Jan. 6 and was delivered to 2,715 respondents via Survey Monkey’s National Audience. The margin of error was +/- 2 percentage points.
Black and Hispanic parents are actively looking for new school options at higher percentages than their white counterparts, according to the study. Support for school choice is also higher among black and Hispanic parents than white parents. Overall, 73% of black parents, 72% of Hispanic parents, and 69% of white parents support school choice, according to the poll.
In a survey conducted on January 3-6, 2022 by National School Choice Week, 52% of parents said that they were considering, or had considered in the last year, choosing a new or different school for one of their children. https://t.co/w3MBPnZGfY
— RootED Denver (@RootedDenver) January 12, 2022
Parents cited education quality and disruptions caused by COVID-19 as reasons that prompted their consideration for a change in schools. COVID-19 school closures have disproportionately impacted minority students, according to a study of 4.4 million students. The study found that test scores of black, Hispanic, and poor children took the biggest hit from school closures, with math scores of vulnerable students dropping up to 10 percentage points between 2019 and 2020.
Parents also told National School Choice Week that they are looking for schools that prepare their children to “succeed in the real world” and want schools that help students “develop critical thinking skills.”
Andrew Campanella, the president of National School Choice Week, told Politico that 19 states expanded school choice options in the last year. The preference for school choice gained momentum as schools shut down amid the pandemic, Campanella said. (RELATED: The Best States For School Choice Program)
States such as West Virginia, Kentucky, New Hampshire, and Missouri introduced educational savings account programs that allow parents to receive money via a parent-controlled fund for educational costs, according to EdChoice.
Republicans see the push for school choice as a winning strategy according to South Carolina GOP Chair Drew McKissick, who spoke with Politico.
“Parents being able to have a greater role in where and how their children are educated is a winning political issue, and we intend to promote it as much as possible in the coming year,” McKissick said.