Our friends at the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO) have released results from a new survey that shows black voters strongly support school choice, including the option to send their children to charter public schools.
The survey was conducted in Alabama, Louisiana, New Jersey, and Tennessee and asked 2,400 black voters their opinions on school choice and other education issues.
Majorities of respondents in all four states support charter public schools, with about two-thirds of black voters in Louisiana, New Jersey, and Tennessee expressing support. (Charter public schools are still a new concept in Alabama, which just passed its charter school law this year.) No more than a quarter of black voters in any of the four states opposes charter schools.
Among other key findings, at least 60 percent of voters in the four states say assessments are necessary to hold schools accountable; in Tennessee and Alabama that number increases to nearly 70 percent. And even though K-12 education hasn’t been a major topic of the presidential debates so far, black voters are eager to hear candidates’ views on education. More than 90 percent of voters in all four states said a candidate’s position on education-related issues is important to their vote.
Charter public schools in New Orleans, Newark, and Memphis – three major cities in the states surveyed – have produced some stellar results for African-American students. It’s easy to understand why parents clearly support having these options for their children. Let’s hope state and national leaders are listening.