Survey says: Parent awareness of school choice is leading to greater demand
Parents are increasingly aware of school choice expansion across the country, and they want more — more education options and more information about those options, according to a recent survey by the National School Choice Awareness Foundation.
The January 2024 survey of 2,595 U.S. parents reveals that they “increasingly see school choice as a ‘new normal.'”
Seventy-two percent considered new schools for their children last year — a 35 percent increase compared to 2022 — and a majority are considering exercising school choice options in 2024.
And it’s not a partisan issue. In fact, “parents who identified as Democrats chose new schools for their children” in 2023 at higher rates than Republican parents — 56 percent to 40 percent, reports the National School Choice Awareness Foundation. Sixty-four percent of parents want more information about the different education options available for their children, and a majority of parents say they send their children to different types of schools than where they attended when growing up.
With the explosion of school choice expansion in 20 states last year, “parents want in,” notes the National School Choice Awareness Foundation.
And this includes Minnesotans. American Experiment’s spring 2023 Thinking Minnesota Poll found that 74 percent of respondents — including 61 percent who identify as Democrats — support giving parents the right to use the tax dollars designated for their child’s education to send their child to the public or private school that best serves their needs.
Unfortunately, this is not a reality yet for Minnesota families, as school choice policies that allow education dollars to follow a student continue to be opposed by the DFL-controlled House and Senate, the governor, and the teachers’ union.
With more than half of Minnesota students not meeting basic proficiency in reading or math, it couldn’t be more clear that one school type doesn’t have the capability to meet the educational needs of every individual child.
This week is National School Choice Week (yes, I’m wearing my yellow scarf!) and is an opportunity to highlight effective K-12 education options and celebrate parent empowerment. American Experiment stands in support with the National School Choice Awareness Foundation in their belief that “every child deserves an effective, challenging, and motivating education.”
It’s a cause that brings Minnesotans from all backgrounds, perspectives, and walks of life together, and is one that American Experiment will continue championing until it becomes a reality in the state.
Stay tuned for this week’s podcast episode on an increasingly popular area for school innovation!