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Nearly Three-Quarters of Kentucky Voters Favor Creating Public Charter Schools

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools released a poll showing 71 percent of Kentucky voters support creating public charter schools. Support for charter schools crosses party lines and is consistent throughout the state.

 

Kentucky is one of only eight states in the country without a law allowing public charter schools. The National Alliance is working with the Kentucky Charter Schools Association (KCSA) and a coalition of parents, pastors, educators, community activists, and legislators to push for more public school options for the state’s students.

 

“This poll confirms what we already suspected, that Kentucky voters are ready for more choices and flexibility when it comes to their students’ education,” said Nina Rees, president and CEO of the National Alliance. “More than 8 in 10 voters support increasing the options available for parents when choosing a public school for their children.”

 

A few of the key findings from the poll are:

  • 82% of voters support providing Kentucky parents with more public school choice options when choosing a school for their child. In the Louisville area, support for more choices rises to 89%.
  • A majority of voters believe that more options will improve the public school system.
  • Once voters have learned about charter schools, 71% favor creating charter schools in the Bluegrass State.

 

When given specific information about how charter schools operate in other states:

  • More than 80% of voters support “implementing curriculum to ensure that all students are prepared for college and the workforce.” Many charter schools around the country develop custom coursework and programs to help prepare their students for college and career opportunities in their unique communities.
  • Voters also favored the way charter schools provide more structured and disciplined learning environments (76%), have high levels of accountability (67%), and can reward high-quality teachers with higher pay (62%), as many charter schools nationwide do.

 

A bill to create public charter schools has been considered by the Kentucky Legislature the past four sessions. It passed the Senate last year, but stalled in the House. Since it was launched earlier this year, the KCSA has been working to bring forth a charter school bill that reflects local community needs and best-in-class charter school policies from around the country.

 

A recent report by the Center for Research on Educational Outcomes at Stanford University found that public charter schools do a better job than traditional public schools educating low-income and minority children, as well as students who are still learning English.

 

“Given the success charter schools have had throughout the country, it’s no surprise that Kentucky voters would like to see these innovative schools open in their home state,” continued Rees. “Regardless of where in the state they live or their political affiliation, Kentuckians are ready for more public school options.”

 

The Glover Park Group poll surveyed 501 registered voters in the state of Kentucky between October 21 and October 27, 2013. The margin of error on a sample size of 501 is +/- 4.4%. To view more details from the poll, click here. 

 

About the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools

 

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is the leading national nonprofit organization committed to advancing the public charter school movement. Our mission is to lead public education to unprecedented levels of academic achievement by fostering a strong charter sector.