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A new poll from the nonprofit New Jersey Children’s Foundation found that 70% of voters in Newark believe the city’s public schools “need to change.”
The poll of 200 registered Newark voters, which was conducted in both English and Spanish, found that the main changes responders wanted are better funding and resources along with improved school safety, NJCF said in a news release.
The poll, which was conducted by the research firm Public Opinion Strategies, also found growing support for charter schools, according to NJCF. Of voters surveyed, 65% had a “favorable opinion” of Newark’s public charter schools — up 6 points from an identical survey conducted a year ago, the poll found.
Support for charter schools is strongest among parents, with 75% of parents viewing charters favorably, NJCF said.
“Among voters who know enough to rate public charter schools, they are most likely to be described as caring ‘about the Newark community,’ ‘open to all,’ and ‘an important part of the public school options in [the] community,” NJCF said.
Charter schools are publicly funded, independently run schools that may be chosen by parents.
According to the poll, 57% of Newark voters say that there are more high-quality school options available to Newark now than there were 10 years ago. This holds true across partisan lines and among voters of color, NJCF said.
The sample was randomly selected from registered voters across Newark and weighted to reflect the city’s geographic and demographic representation, a spokesperson for NJCF said. Of the interviews conducted among Hispanic/Latino voters, 39% were conducted in Spanish, he said.
Tapinto Newark requested comment from the Newark Public Schools but the district didn’t reply.