| February 12, 2014
Survey Finds Oklahomans Favor School-Choice Policies
The last week of January was National School Choice Week, and Gov. Mary Fallin issued a proclamation declaring the week to be School Choice Week in Oklahoma, too. After all, she said, “Oklahoma has a multitude of high-quality traditional public schools, charter schools, virtual schools, CareerTech schools, private and religious schools, home schools, and more.”
In an effort to measure public opinion on various school-choice policies, the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice recently commissioned a statewide survey of Oklahoma voters. The survey, which has a margin of error of ± 4.0 percentage points, was conducted by Braun Research, Inc., a company which has been used by such research firms as Gallup and the Pew Research Center.
The survey, which the Friedman Foundation and OCPA released during School Choice Week, contains a wealth of useful data. We encourage you to read it at edchoice.org/OklahomaPoll.
The following charts highlight some key findings from the survey.
For example, the responses to questions 3 and 7 indicate that many Oklahomans are concerned with the current state of our public school system.
The chart related to question 9 might as well be titled “Why the Monopoly Establishment Will Fight School Choice to the Death.” Even though more than 9 in 10 Oklahoma students are in fact enrolled in a regular public school, the survey found that most parents would like to choose something else. As OCPA president Michael Carnuccio recently observed in The Journal Record: “The education reporter Mike Antonucci once asked, ‘If the government, under the force of law, takes money from my paycheck every month to supply me and every other citizen with a Yugo, and I choose not to spend additional personal income on a Chevy, am I choosing the Yugo?’ Apparently, the answer is no. Clearly, parents want more choices.”
As to which particular choices they favor, the charts related to questions 11 through 16 indicate that they favor charter schools, vouchers, tax-credit scholarships, and Education Savings Accounts.