Parents want to be able to choose their child’s school

Victor Joecks

Not just in Nevada, either.

Vermont citizens—by a large margin—want to be able to choose what school their child attends.

Nearly nine out of ten Vermonters (89 percent) prefer choosing a school for their child among options that include private schools, charter schools, virtual schools, and homeschooling. There is a consensus for a range of schooling options. This high figure is consistent with what we have learned from previous state surveys asking the same question, most recently in Oregon (87 percent), Montana (90 percent), Maryland (82 percent), and Oklahoma (83 percent)…

About half of Vermonters favor a tax-credit scholarship system. When asked if a proposal were to be made in Vermont to create a tax-credit scholarship system, 52 percent of respondents say they favor a scholarship system funded by individual and business charitable donations. The results indicate significantly more support for universal eligibility of tax-credit scholarships versus financial need-based scholarships. (58 percent vs. 43 percent, respectively) This is true regardless of respondents' income levels. For example, Vermonters with household incomes under $25,000 agreed with universal eligibility compared to financial need-based eligibility, 53 percent to 36 percent. (emphasis original)

A similar survey conducted by the Friedman Foundation for NPRI last year showed parents in Nevada feel the same way.

Only one out of ten Nevadans say a regular public school is the top choice for their child's school. Citizens want more school options. This finding is consistent across major demographic categories including age, race/ethnicity, gender, and geographic region-never rising above 16 percent for any one subgroup…

A majority of Nevadans (53 percent) favor allowing parents the option of using public funds to send their child to a private school. Favorability elevates to significantly higher levels for 36 to 45 year-olds (62 percent) and 46 to 55 year-olds (63 percent).

As for the results politicians probably care about the most:

Nevada voters are more likely to vote for a state representative, state senator or governor who supports school vouchers. Voters say they would be more likely to vote for a governor or legislator who supports school vouchers, with 35 percent saying "more likely" versus 25 percent saying "less likely."

Just a reminder: Nevada could implement a system of school choice that would allow parents to choose their child's school and save the state a billion over the next 10 years.