A new poll out this week reveals strong and growing support for public charter schools. Pollsters queried 600 N.C. voters between January 22-23, 2023, asking a range of questions about K-12 education and political views. The John Locke Foundation commissioned the poll and released it Thursday, coinciding with National School Choice Week 2023.
Charter support up 10% over last year
Poll findings show nearly 69% of N.C. voters support public charter schools. That’s a 10% increase in charter support in just one year. Now, just 21.5% of voters oppose charter schools. Here’s the screenshot from the poll.
The poll also found real bipartisan support for charter schools. Among Democrats, for instance, 55% support charter schools while nearly 80% of Republicans do. Over 70% of independent voters also support charters.
Strong dissatisfaction with K-12 education
Despite strong charter support, however, most North Carolina voters are unhappy with the quality of K-12 education. The John Locke Foundation’s poll analysis notes:
Support for school choice programs is high in spite of – or perhaps because of – North Carolinians’ displeasure with the current state of K-12 education in the state. When asked about the quality of elementary through high school education, two-thirds of respondents said they are “dissatisfied.” Of those with at least one child currently enrolled in K-12, an even higher percentage (68%) said they were dissatisfied.
In addition, more than 8 in 10 voters believe parents, not administrators, should be the ones to choose a child’s school. Here’s another screenshot from the poll.
Lindalyn Kakadelis, the Coalition’s executive director, released this statement about the poll findings:
Public charter schools are part of the public school family. Parents want and deserve a choice in deciding the best educational environment for their children. That’s glaringly apparent from charter school enrollment – which increased three-fold in just the past decade – and from poll after poll.