Survey says: Democrats/Republicans agree on tax credits, universal vouchers

Despite the obvious partisan differences in the public’s attitudes toward education, both Democrats and Republicans support scholarships for low-income families funded by tax credits and universal vouchers, according to the 2022 Education Next survey.

Conducted in May 2022 with a nationally representative sample of 1,784 American adults, the annual poll provides a telling deep dive into public opinion on a variety of education issues and how those perceptions have changed over the years.

While the survey found striking partisan differences of opinion on homeschooling, charter schools, and support for school choice overall, Democrat (64%) and Republican (59%) respondents both voiced support for tax-credit funded scholarships to help low-income parents send their children to private schools. (Minnesota has had several opportunities to pass tax-credit scholarships and join the nearly 20 states that already have such a program in place, but Democrats and the teachers’ union continue to stand in the way.)

When asked if they would support a proposal “that would give all families with children in public schools a wider choice, by allowing them to enroll their children in private schools instead, with government helping to pay the tuition,” 50 percent of Democrats said yes (compared to 40 percent opposed) and 49 percent of Republicans (with 41 percent opposed). Support among Democrats grew slightly when the voucher program was specific for low-income families (51 percent).

Results broken down by race revealed overwhelming support among black respondents for both tax-credit scholarships (72 percent) and universal vouchers (72 percent).

These survey results add on to other national polling data during 2022 showing support for school choice programs across party lines.

It’s unfortunate Democratic leadership in Minnesota continues to block similar proposals here.