By Bill Korach www.thereportcard.org
A recent Gallup poll found strong support for federal funding of school choice programs. School choice means charter schools, voucher programs and, federal tax credits that would allow parents to choice schools outside the public school system.
Gallup reported. “Republicans strongly support both of these proposals, and Democrats are more likely to agree than disagree with them, although by slim margins.”
In its “National School Choice Poll” the American Federation for Children (AFC) found that 68% of likely voters support school choice, and 72% supported the creation of a federal tax credit program. Betsy DeVos, the new Secretary of Education is a founder the AFC.
Driving these poll numbers is a general dissatisfaction with public schools. Although 83 percent of parents with children in grades K-12indicated their oldest child attends public school, only 37 percent of respondents said public schools provided an “excellent” or “good” education.
The AFC’s chief operating officer, John Schilling, said it was confirmation that American parents and school choice advocates “want more educational options and support for more educational options” and this stretches across party lines. Schilling pointed out that the best solution “is a federal education tax credit,” where corporations and individuals donate charitable contributions to state non-profit organizations, which then use these contributions as scholarships to go to a school of their choice.
Schilling added, “Every child in America should have the opportunity to be in the educational environment that best meets his or her needs.” He concluded, “Empowering parents with educational choice will give more children access to a quality education and improve educational outcomes across the board.”