Election 2022

Coalition Releases 2022 Candidate Recommendations

By Election 2022, News
This week, the Coalition released its slate of recommended candidates for the 2022 election. View the list of recommended candidates here. Recommendations are for candidates running for seats in the N.C. Senate and the N.C. House of Representatives.

A voter guide, featuring candidates who support public charter schools

In the press release announcing candidate recommendations, Coalition Executive Director Lindalyn Kakadelis said:
Public charter schools are part of the public school family. These candidates support public charter schools so that all families, not just the select few, can have a choice in their children’s schooling. If you care about education and school choice, we recommend you support these candidates.
Our hope is that this slate of recommendations will serve as an effective voter guide, helping North Carolinians understand where the 2022 candidates stand on fair funding and charter autonomy. These issues are vital to charter school growth and sustainability in our state. If you haven’t had a chance to review the candidates’ responses to our 2022 Candidate Questionnaire, please take a look. Find completed questionnaires on our website here.

New report: How the pandemic changed parent views on education and voting

By Election 2022, News

A new report reveals how powerfully the pandemic has shaped views on K-12 education and voting among parents. “Never Going Back,” released today by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, includes polling data from over 5,000 parents of school-age children. Post-pandemic, parents are highly invested in education. They’re also motivated to support the political candidates who most closely represent their views. In fact, more than 8 in 10 say they’d vote outside their party, if warranted. (Read the Alliance’s press release.)

What else? The pandemic has reconfigured key sentiments about education in addition to school enrollments. Key report findings are below.

Politically, education is rising in importance

Parents care a great deal about education as a political issue, the Alliance report found.

  • Candidates’ views on education have the capacity to sway parent voters. 82% of parents are willing to vote outside their party if a candidate’s views on education align with their own.
  • Education is growing in importance as a political issue. 83% of parents view education as more important now.
  • For committed parent voters, education is ascendant. Among issues, only taxes topped education for parents who vote in both federal and state/local elections.

Screenshot from: “Never Going Back: An Analysis of Parent Sentiment on Education,” National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, August 24, 2022.

Most parents support choice and charter schools

School choice and public charter schools are popular among parents. In fact, even parents who don’t choose charter schools for their children want other parents to have that choice.

  • Support for educational choice is high. 86% of parents want options for their children other than the local district school.
  • Parents favor the growth of public charter schools. 77% want more local charter schools. Moreover, 81% support expanding seats in existing local charter schools.
  • Charter schools have earned credibility with non-charter parents. “Even among those who might not choose a charter school for their child, 84% agree that charter schools should be available to families who would choose them,” the report notes.

The pandemic introduced powerful changes in parents’ views on education

Parents have become more engaged in their child’s education. In addition, they’re more interested.

  • Parent engagement is ticking up. 78% of parents “became more involved in their child’s education because of what they saw during the pandemic,” the Alliance said.
  • Interest in education is also increasing. 79% of parents became more interested in their child’s education because of the pandemic.
  • Safety is top of mind. In fact, safety is even more important to parents than school quality. 77% of parents said school safety was “absolutely essential.” Moreover, 59% said school safety grew in importance to them during the pandemic.

Screenshot from: “Never Going Back: An Analysis of Parent Sentiment on Education.”

Lindalyn Kakadelis, the executive director of the Coalition, said, “This report tells us parents want and deserve options for their children’s schooling, and they’re willing to vote across party lines to get it. Public charter schools remain wildly popular as a free, public alternative to traditional zoned schools that are open to everybody.”

Access the Coalition’s press release.

2022 Poll: ‘The Education Voter is the New Swing Voter’

By Election 2022, News

“The education voter is the new swing voter.” That’s the assessment from Nina Rees, the president and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, of what new poll findings show about the growing power of education at the ballot box. The Alliance commissioned Harris Poll to conduct the survey of 5,000 parents of K-12 schoolchildren nationwide. Full poll findings are coming later this summer–but the Alliance released a sneak peek memo earlier this week to coincide with its 2022 National Charter Schools Conference. Harris Poll queried parents between May 19-31, 2022. Key findings are below.

Education is becoming more important to parents than political party

Parents are very focused on education as they head into the fall–and its importance to them has grown. In fact, more than 8 in 10 parents, or 83%, say education “has become a more important political issue to them than it was in the past.”

Parents who vote in both federal and state/local elections rank education as the second most important issue to them, behind only taxes.

Moreover, parents indicate that education could be even more predictive than political party in deciding how they vote. For instance, 82% say they “would be willing to vote outside their political party based on the candidate’s education platform.”

Here’s the screenshot from the Alliance poll infographic:

Screenshot from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools Infographic: “Is the ‘Education Voter’ the New Swing Voter?”

Most parents want more public charter schools

About three in four parents from the Alliance poll say they:

  • “would consider sending their child to a public charter school if one were available in their area”
  • “want more public charter school offerings in their area”
  • “support expanding the number of slots in existing public charter schools in their area”

Read the press release from the Alliance about the polling memo.

Watch the Alliance’s full panel discussion from this week, “Numbers Don’t Lie,” to learn more about polling data on charters and school choice.