NC Voters Support Charter Schools
Special Report - July 19, 2012
A large majority of North Carolinians support school choice, particularly through the establishment of charter schools, according to a new survey by the Center for Education Reform (CER). The poll, which was conducted June 20 and 21, asked 528 registered North Carolina voters about “their knowledge and perceptions of charter schools.” Overwhelming majorities within several demographic groups indicated strong support for public charter schools. However, a majority of voters did not identify North Carolina’s charter schools as public schools. Only 42 percent of respondents “who said they know at least a little about charter schools” could identify them correctly as public schools. Instead, one-quarter thought they were private, 11 percent thought they were magnet, four percent thought they were religious, and 17 percent thought they were something else.
A large majority (70 percent) of North Carolinians across all party affiliations support charter schools. More than eight in 10 Republicans, nearly six in 10 Democrats, and two-thirds of Independents “support the creation of charter schools.” African Americans (85 percent), women (82 percent), and parents of school-aged children (81 percent) are the strongest supporters of charter schools.
Overall, the survey demonstrates widespread strong support for expanded school choice for parents. Half of the registered voters surveyed prefer “allowing the parent to choose from a number of public schools” over “assigning children to one public school based solely on where they live.” African Americans, women, parents of school-aged children, and Independent voters displayed the highest levels of support for such school choice. Nearly two-thirds of respondents “agreed that charters should be funded the same or more as all other public schools.” Currently, North Carolina public charter schools receive approximately 90 percent of the funding received by traditional public schools.
“These results demonstrate a demand for more effective ways to educate the state’s children,” said CER President Jeanne Allen in a press release. “People want parents to have the power to choose a school for their child based on their needs not their zip code. And they want those parents to have a plethora of charter schools to choose from.”
In related news, the N.C. Public Charter School Advisory Board approved several new charter school applications from across North Carolina earlier this week. The Charter School Advisory Board is tasked with recommending to the State Board of Education which charter school applicants should be approved, and is considering 30 applicants’ proposals during meetings this week. On July 17, the advisory panel gave its approval to four charter school applications in Mecklenburg County, one in Cabarrus County, and one in Iredell County. More schools could be recommended for approval before the end of the week. These most recent preliminary approvals come almost exactly one year after the General Assembly removed the arbitrary cap on the number of charter schools allowed to operate in the State.
Board Approves Nine Charter Schools - March 2, 2012
Positive Charter School Closings - December 22, 2011
SBOE Approves Charter Fast Track - September 2, 2011
Charter School Council Formed - August 5, 2011
Charter Bill Heads to Conference - April 15, 2011
Charter School Checkmate - FNC - July 2010
Charter Schools Shortchanged - May 25, 2010
Charter Schools Get the Rap - February 5, 2010
Group Says Lift Charter School Cap - January 22, 2010
Charter School Myths Debunked - January 7, 2010
Charter Schools Close Achievement Gap - October 5, 2009
Charter Schools Have Financial Benefits - November 7, 2008
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