Support For School Choice Shot Up Following COVID-19 Pandemic: POLL

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Reagan Reese Contributor
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Voter support for school choice programs jumped 7% since before the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a Tuesday RealClear Opinion Research poll.

At least 71% of registered voters support school choice programs, with 66% of Democrats, 80% of Republicans and 69% of Independents saying they support such policies, according to a RealClear Opinion Research poll. In 2020 and during the COVID-19 pandemic, 64% of registered voters supported such policies that give taxpayer-funded vouchers to students to be used on education costs outside the public school system. (RELATED: Red State School Choice Program Sees Largest Growth In Years)

“School choice support is here to stay, and politicians who ignore this reality do so at their own peril,” Tommy Schultz, CEO of the American Federation for Children (AFC), an organization that advocates for school choice, said in a statement. “Parents are the new interest group in town, and legislators would be wise to keep responding to their needs. The days of the old one-size-fits-all model are numbered, welcome news for the countless students who need something different to learn and thrive. AFC is thrilled to continue standing behind parents as they do for their children’s education.”

The most support for school choice policy came from 18-34 year-olds, with 74% supporting such programs, the poll showed. At least 71% of registered voters from 50-64 years old support school choice programs.

Since 2020, Democratic support for school choice programs has increased 7%, rising from 59% to 66% in 2023, the poll showed. Support rose among registered Republicans from 75% in 2020 to 80% in 2023.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, parents began to push back at school board meetings over Critical Race Theory and gender identity lessons in the classroom; a Virginia father was arrested in 2021 after protesting a transgender policy at a Virginia school board meeting.

Across the country lawmakers are enacting school choice programs as they grow in popularity; Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed a 2024-2025 budget on July 4 that expanded the size of the state’s already established school voucher program. In March, Republican Arkansas Gov. Sarah Sanders signed a piece of education legislation into law, creating a universal school choice program by the 2025-2026 school year.

The poll surveyed 1,000 registered voters from June 27-30, across all regions of the country.

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