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Americans overwhelmingly back school choice, parental rights in education: poll

By a 2-1 ratio, parents backed school choice "voucher programs that allow tax dollars to follow children to the schools of their parents' choice."

Published: January 23, 2023 6:56pm

Updated: January 24, 2023 6:21am

Americans largely favor empowering parents in their children's education through greater transparency in teaching materials and choice in schools, a survey has found.

The latest Scott Rasmussen National Survey queried registered voters on an array of issues, including school choice, charter schools and education proposals requiring teachers to disclose their lesson plans.

Citing a proposal that would "require public school teachers to put all lesson plans and materials online in advance so that parents can have access to them," the survey asked: "Would you favor or oppose this proposal?"

A plurality of 38% said they "strongly favor" such an effort, while a further 31% said they "somewhat favor" it. By contrast, just 8% "strongly oppose" such a plan and 16% "somewhat oppose" it.

In a follow-up question, the survey asked whether parents should be able to opt their children out of lessons or materials they find objectionable. A clear majority of 52% supported parental discretion while 27% opposed giving parents that leeway. A further 21% were unsure.

Respondents generally asserted that school choice programs "provide better educational opportunities for students," with 51% backing that sentiment compared to 19% opposing it. A near-majority of 48% said that school choice programs made public schools either "much better" (19%) or "somewhat better" (29%).

By a 2-1 ratio, parents backed school choice "voucher programs that allow tax dollars to follow children to the schools of their parents' choice," with 35% "strongly" favoring and an additional 25% "somewhat" favoring the policy. A combined 29%, meanwhile, opposed such a plan to some degree. 

A combined 57% of those polled either "strongly" or "somewhat" favored the creation of more charter schools. Just 24% either "strongly" or "somewhat" opposed such a proposal.

The survey also measured attitudes toward the influence of different religious groups on colleges and universities, with 30% of respondents saying atheists held "too much" sway over higher education. Twenty-five percent of those polled said "Evangelical or Bible Believing Christian people" were too influential, compared with 24% who said the same of Muslims and 13% who held that view of Jewish influence.

The Scott Rasmussen Survey included the following methodology statement:

This CounterpollingTM survey of 1,000 Registered Voters was conducted online by Scott Rasmussen on January 19-20, 2023. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Certain quotas were applied, and the sample was lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, internet usage, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

The margin of sampling error for the full sample is +/- 3.1 percentage points.

This survey was paid for by RMG Research, Inc. as part of the service provided for our Gold Circle

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