Survey: Educators across political spectrum not sold on school choice
- A nationally representative survey from Education Week indicates that many teachers, principals and district superintendents are skeptical of charter schools, vouchers and tax-credit scholarships, including some educators who voted for President Donald Trump.
- About 45% of educators surveyed “fully oppose” charter schools, while another 26% “somewhat oppose” them.
- Many educators were also skeptical of vouchers and scholarships: 58% opposed programs that use government funds to help parents afford the cost of a private school education, and roughly half oppose tax-credit scholarships.
The issue of school choice is a very broad and complicated issue, particularly when it comes to funding part of the discussion. Some educators see school choice as a valid way to offer school competition and improve all schools. However, others see vouchers and charter schools as ways to weaken public education. For some, vouchers provide more education equity because it allows poorer families more options to choose. However, others see voucher programs as a threat to education equity.
Even private schools sometimes look askance at school vouchers, arguing that government funding brings government interference, which some view at the main problem with the public education system. Even homeschoolers, who are now being drawn into the debate, mainly oppose the idea of receiving government funds, fearing the same government interference in a method of education they feel works for them.
While educators debate the pros and cons, the America public is becoming more attached to the notion of school choice. A recent poll found that “public support for vouchers has grown 12 percentage points during the past four years, with more than half of that growth generated since mid-2015. Opposition to vouchers fell at a greater rate during this time, decreasing 18 percentage points during the last four years”