EdChoice, the non-profit focused on empowering disenfranchised families to be able to choose the best schools for their children, has released a new report that looks at Black parents’ views on the direction of K-12 education, particularly in the wake of Covid-19. While more than half of Black parents are optimistic about the their school districts, three-quarters support a variety of school choice models, including charter schools, Education Savings Accounts, vouchers, and decoupling ZIP code from school district assignments.
The polling was done in consultation with Morning Consult.
One note: This close-to-consensus view of Black families on the importance for having options for where their children go to school is at odds with teacher unions, both in New Jersey and nationally. For instance, the National Education Association, NJEA’s mothership, claims “vouchers undermine strong public education and student opportunity” and the American Federation of Teachers concurs. In 2017 NJEA, New Jersey’s most powerful and richest lobbyist, demanded that the Murphy Administration’s Department of Education enact “a moratorium on the approval and expansion of charter schools,” and Gov. Murphy has mostly complied.
Now that NJ’s governor is contemplating a presidential run, he might want to reconsider a position that alienates him from voters, regardless of skin color. After all, 82% of American parents say they’d be willing to vote for someone outside of their political party if their education platform aligned with their views; Nina Rees of the National Alliance of Public Charter Schools notes, “the education voter is the new swing voter.”
Here are some takeaways from the poll.
At least two-thirds of Black parents say their child has been subject to bullying at school:
Almost 10% of Black parents, particularly affluent ones, have enrolled their children in micro-schools:
Only 25% of Black parents think education should stay the same as it is today. More than one-third of Black parents believe education needs to change and explore different directions:
Black parents strongly support a variety of school choice options. roughly three in four Black parents support education savings accounts (78%), vouchers (79%), charter schools (74%), and open enrollment (78%):
The majority of Black parents feel ESAs (70%), vouchers (72%), charter schools (74%), and open enrollment (75%) are fair. They are less convinced that these options are accessible to them: