POLL: Less than 20% of African Americans Actually Oppose School Choice Initiatives

By Andrew Pillow

The African American community has become the focus of many conversations around school choice. Critics of school choice have claimed that it causes segregation and makes public-school funding dwindle. Many different organizations such as the NAACP and American Federation of Teachers have spoke out against school choice on behalf of African Americans…. But as it turns out when African-Americans are polled themselves on the issue, their stance ranges from indifferent to positive.

A poll conducted by Education Next, shows that less than 20% of black people polled actively oppose school choice initiatives like charter schools and tax credit scholarships.

When asked “Do you support or oppose the formation of charter schools?”: 33% of African Americans said they support charters and only 13% said they opposed with the rest being indifferent. It is worth noting that when provided the definition of charter schools the opposition rating went up to 29%, but the support rating went up to 46% as well.

African Americans also supported tax-credit scholarships at a high rate. When participants in the poll were told: “A proposal has been made to offer a tax credit for individual and corporate donations that pay for scholarships to help low-income parents send their children to private schools. Would you favor or oppose such a proposal?” a whopping 64% of black people responded that they supported the proposal compared to the 17% who didn’t and 19% who neither opposed or supported.

This actually means that according to this poll, black people support charter schools at a similar rate to other demographics, and tax-credit scholarships at a higher rate than ANY other demographic polled.

The poll attempted to find data around vouchers as well but the data was unavailable due to the small sample size of African American respondents.

Read the full survey results here. (Education Next)

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Andrew Pillow

Andrew is a technology teacher at KIPP Indy College Prep. He is graduate of the University of Kentucky and a Teach for America Alum. Andrew just recently finished his commitment as a Teach Plus Policy fellow, and he is looking forward to putting the skills he's learned to good use. Andrew has written for several publications in the past on a wide variety of topics but will be sticking to education for his role on Indy/Ed.