Thursday, April 20, 2017

Majority of Californians polled favor vouchers for private schools | EdSource

Majority of Californians polled favor vouchers for private schools | EdSource:

Majority of Californians polled favor vouchers for private schools


Rejecting President Donald Trump’s immigration crackdown, Californians overwhelmingly said in a poll released Wednesday that they favor designating their school districts “sanctuary safe zones” to protect undocumented students and their families from federal immigration enforcement efforts. And they support requiring staff to keep information about the immigration status of students and their families completely confidential.
But Californians appear in sync with one issue that Trump and his Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos are advocating: vouchers for private and religious schools. Vouchers are tax-funded payments that parents can apply toward tuition to private and, in some states, religious schools of their choice.
The nonprofit, non-partisan Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) asked, “Do you favor or oppose providing parents with tax-funded vouchers to send their children to any public, private, or parochial school they choose?” Sixty percent of all adults and two-thirds of public school parents say they support them, while 37 percent of all adults and 32 percent of public school parents oppose them. For likely voters, the split is 50 percent for, 46 percent against.
Although Trump campaigned on establishing a $20 billion voucher program, he hasn’t yet put forth a plan. An alternative, which Education Week reports Trump may propose, is a program adopted by Florida and other states. It offers tax credits to businesses and individuals to encourage donations to scholarship funds for private or religious schools.
PPIC’s 13th annual K-12 survey would appear at odds with California voters’ strong past opposition to vouchers. Twice before, in 1993 and 2000, voters rejected voucher initiatives, with 70 percent voting against them each time. However, in 1998, two years before the last vote and the last time that PPIC polled Californians on the issue, 58 percent of adults favored vouchers while 36 percent opposed them.
That tells you that a single question on the concept of vouchers does not tell the whole story, said State Board of Education President Michael Kirst, who wrote analyses for both voucher initiatives. “Support eroded for vouchers the more that voters learned about the details and the implications,” he said. He said to accurately Majority of Californians polled favor vouchers for private schools | EdSource:
PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Education
Full Report[PDF, 671K]
A solid majority of Californians favor tax-funded vouchers that would allow parents to send their children to any school they choose. At the same time, most rate the quality of their local public schools positively and view state funding for public schools as inadequate. Many are concerned about the impact of increased federal immigration enforcement efforts on undocumented public school students and their families.
 Crosstabs:
All Adults [PDF]
Likely Voters [PDF]
 Time Trends:
All Adults [PDF]
Likely Voters [PDF]
This research was supported with funding from the Dirk and Charlene Kabcenell Foundation, the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, the Silver Giving Foundation, and the Stuart Foundation.

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