School Choice For K-12 Students Gets Bipartisan Support In New Poll

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Kate Anderson Contributor
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Both Democrats and Republicans expressed significant support for public school choice initiatives for K-12 students, according to a new poll released Wednesday.

School choice has become a hot-button issue for parents across the country, and several states like Oklahoma and North Carolina recently approved different measures that created more options when deciding where to send kids to school. The poll, published by the Yes. Every Kid. Foundation (YEKF), which is an organization dedicated to supporting “educational freedom” for families, asked respondents on both ends of the political spectrum whether or not they would support giving students the ability to go to whatever school best supported their needs, and 88% of Democrats responded yes alongside 83% of Republicans. (RELATED: School Board Adopts GOP Gov’s Parental Rights Policy After Parents Slap It With Lawsuit)

The poll noted that many children in the U.S. are assigned a school based on their zip code and asked voters if they would get behind initiatives to make “it possible for students to access any public school in their state regardless of where they live.” Over 60% of both Democrats and Republicans responded affirmatively, but when asked if they would support allowing children to attend whatever public school in the state helped them get the best education, both parties increased their approval rating by nearly 20%.

Independents also gave their overwhelming support when asked about school choice at 85%, according to the poll.

When asked if school choice would improve America’s education system as a whole, K-12 parents came in at the top spot at 61%, with Democrats at 55% and Republicans at 52%, according to the poll. Republican voters interviewed for the survey made up one of the largest demographics in support of creating Education Savings Accounts, which use state funding to pay for the school of the parent’s choice at 71%, with Independents at 65% and Democrats ranking the lowest at 58%.

Additionally, more than eight out of 10 voters said that they would support measures making K-12 education more flexible for families in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the poll. K-12 parents and black voters ranked the highest in this category at 86%, with Democrats, Republicans and Independents agreeing at over 80%

“Americans believe more education options will improve our nation’s education system,” Matt Frendewey, vice president of the foundation, said in a press release. “A child’s access to a great education should not be determined by their family’s income or where they live. By expanding opportunities for families to customize the education to meet their kids’ needs, we can improve education more broadly. We will continue to listen to Americans while empowering families by removing barriers to learning.”

The poll was conducted from Sept. 20 to 25 and a total of 1,209 people were interviewed before the sample was brought down to 1,000 participants, with a margin of error of +/- 3.4%, according to the press release.

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