A poll conducted earlier this year by the American Federation for Children and Beck Research, a Democratic Polling organization found that 67% of likely voters in the 2020 election support school choice. This number represents a 4% increase from a similar poll taken in 2018.
The results of the poll, which showed strong support for school choice in a variety of demographics, was not reported widely by the mainstream media. Among ethnic groups, 73% of Latinos, 68% of whites and 67% of Blacks would like to be able to choose the type of school their children attend.
Surprisingly, three quarters of Millennials are in favor of school choice, while the rural/urban split is about the same at 68% and 64% respectively. Not surprisingly, 80% of Republicans and only 56% of Democrats think parents should be able to control where their children go to school, while Independents come in at about the middle at 69%.
A full 60% of individuals responding to the poll said they are more likely to vote for a state legislature candidate or a U.S. Congressional candidate who support school choice than one who does not.
The results of this poll clearly show that voters are frustrated with the continued downward spiral of public education in America. Politicians on both sides of the aisle underestimate the amount of attention parents are paying to their children’s grade school and secondary school education. Whether it’s through a voucher program or by providing more public Charter Schools which fall outside of teachers union purview, more and more parents are turning against the traditional public school system.
The biggest roadblock to school choice is the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the National Education Association (NEA) Unions who understand that given a choice, parents would not choose them. Public schools which are run by those local unions have become places where enacting basic teaching standards and performance evaluations are an affront to union authority.
Conservatives running for state legislature and U.S. Congressional seats should take advantage of the Beck Research Poll and make school choice a prominent part of their 2020 election campaign. Democrats who are bound by their many campaign donations must serve their AFT and NEA masters. This is an important issue where conservatives can affect the course of grade school and secondary school education for years to come.