A recent national survey of more than 5,000 parents of school-aged children, conducted by The Harris Poll and commissioned by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, examined families’ educational choices and patterns, satisfaction with school options, and the likely significance of education as an issue in upcoming elections.
Among key initial findings from the survey, data suggest education voters may be the new “swing” voters—for many, education has risen in importance when it comes to key considerations when they head to the polls. Majorities of Republicans and Democrats alike support and want more public charter schools in their area, and many voters would be willing to vote for someone outside of their party depending on the candidate’s stance on education issues.
Here are three of the early findings.
82% of parents are willing to vote for someone outside of their political party if their education platform aligned with their views.
We believe this is telling us that the education voter is the new swing voter.
83% of parents agree that education has become a more important political issue to them than it was in the past.
Among parents who vote in both federal and state/local elections, when asked if any considerations become more important to them when voting in state/local elections, education (55%) was the second most selected issue, closely trailing taxes/taxation (56%).
84% of parents agree that, although they may not choose a charter school for their child, charter schools should be available to families who would choose them.
In summary: Parents want charter schools. Further, 71% of Black parents strongly agree that one size does not fit all when it comes to educating children, and 70% of Black parents and 63% of Hispanic parents strongly agree that parents should be able to have a choice in where their children go to school.
Stay tuned for more results and reactions to this wide-ranging poll. The National Alliance will release a full report in late summer.
Jennifer Diaz is the vice president of communications at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.