Parental choice popular

Patrick Gibbons

A new survey by William G. Howell, a professor at the University of Chicago and Paul E. Peterson and Martin R. West both of Harvard University, find overwhelming public support for tuition-tax credit education scholarship programs to help parents afford private school tuition.

They write,

A number of states-Arizona, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island, for example-provide tax credits for low-income families who send their children to private schools or to those who give to charities established for such purposes. Support for tax credits is much higher than for vouchers, especially if the question makes clear that credits may be used for school expenses at both public and private schools.

Today, 55 percent of Americans support the idea of tax-credits while only 20 percent oppose. The support continues to grow among African-Americans and Hispanic Americans. Allowing people and/or corporations to earn tax-credits for donations made to low-income student scholarship programs boosted the popularity further.

In other reform news, 47 percent of the American public opposes teacher tenure while just 25 percent support it. Additionally, 49 percent of the public supports merit-pay for teachers while just 25 percent oppose it. There was also strong public support for tougher standards and more testing.

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