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Education

New Poll: Moms Prefer More School Choice

Posted: 6/21/2013

Mothers say they should be the ones who decide where their kids go to school—and, increasingly, state lawmakers agree
Mothers say they should be the ones who decide where their kids go to school—and, increasingly, state lawmakers agree.

(NAPSI)—A new poll on popular though sometimes controversial schooling issues shows that moms of school-age children are frustrated with K−12 education’s current course. Perhaps as a result, they want the ability to choose where and how their children are educated outside of public schools.

What Moms Want

Vouchers, charter schools and other “school choice” policies each receive majority support from mothers of school-age children in the “Schooling in America Survey,” a project of the pro-reform Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, conducted by Braun Research, Inc. Vouchers were supported by 66 percent of respondents and opposed by 26 percent, while charter schools were favored by 63 percent with 25 percent opposed.

“So many moms, who want only the best for their children, are left powerless in today’s education system,” said Virginia Walden Ford, a mother whose child received a private school scholarship and attended a charter school. “Moms are dissatisfied with the lack of progress in education. That’s why they’re demanding school choice.”

By nearly a two-to-one margin, the poll shows that mothers of school-age children believe K−12 education in the United States is on the “wrong track,” compared with those saying it is going in the “right direction.” And almost eight out of 10 school moms, or 79 percent, give a “fair” or “poor” rating to the federal government’s involvement in education.

“More states are realizing that tying children’s educational opportunities to their parents’ home address isn’t working,” Ford said. “Our kids deserve better than the status quo.”

What States Are Doing

On the state level, lawmakers supportive of education reform are acting to increase the number of school choice options. In 42 states and Washington, D.C., 2.3 million students are attending 6,000 charter schools, according to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. Private school choice is available in 22 states and Washington, D.C., serving 1.1 million students through vouchers and tax incentives. Recently, Alabama enacted its first-ever private school choice programs, while Mississippi increased the availability of charter schools.

Where To Learn More

You can find the full “Schooling in America Survey” online at www.edchoice.org/SchoolingSurvey or call (317) 681-0745.

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