Surveys from the last several years reveal school choice is favored in just about every demographic.
In 2021, EdChoice surveyed over 1,000 K-12 parents and discovered that Black and Hispanic parents (80%) were among the most supportive of education savings accounts (ESAs). Support was also strong among white parents (76%).
The same was true of school vouchers, which was strongly favored by Black (81%), Hispanic (76%) and white parents (71%).
Socioeconomic status only caused slight variations among Black respondents, with low-income parents reporting 75% support of ESAs, middle-income 86% and high-income 81%.
Last year, the American Federation for Children reported similar findings from another poll, which also showed school choice support transcends party lines among Democrats (55%), Independents (69%) and Republicans (82%).
In Arizona, which passed a universal school choice program last year, support also came from all sides.
Janelle Wood, founder and CEO of Black Mothers Forum, started a network of micro schools in Arizona because she believed the public system was failing students. She fiercely advocated for Arizona’s universal ESA program.
“Our children deserve [an] opportunity, their parents, their mothers, deserve an opportunity to find a place where those children are safe and supported,” Wood said, as previously reported by The Lion.
Pastor Drew Anderson, who rallied with Wood, emphasized that school choice is a bipartisan issue.
“We are in a battle not of Republicans, not of Democrats, but we are in a battle for young souls,” Anderson said. “As a registered democrat I support this bill, as a registered democrat I support anybody who supports make sure all minority children are given an opportunity to be properly educated.
“School Choice is no longer something that can be on the back-burner.”
The sentiment is being expressed elsewhere, too.
U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-South Carolina, grew up in poverty and attended public school, and he is one of school choice’s leading advocates.
“By equipping and empowering families with the ability to choose educational opportunities best suited for their children – public charter schools, parochial schools, homeschooling and more – we are prioritizing the success of students and our nation,” Scott said during National School Choice Week 2023.
He also believes this issue transcends demographics.
“For the first time in recorded history, African Americans and Hispanic parents want school choice,” Scott said in 2022. “So this is an issue whose time has come.”