Poll: Miss. parents support school choice

Wednesday, January 10, 2018
Bob Kellogg (OneNewsNow.com)

desks in high school classroomIn a state that often ranks last in public education, a recent poll of voters found an overwhelming amount of support for education savings accounts and hence education choices.  

Mississippi enacted an education savings account for students with special needs in 2015 and the survey shows its citizens want to expand it to all students.

Empower Mississippi commissioned the poll in which polling firm Cygnal surveyed 503 likely voters last December.

The poll found that 77 percent of respondents support school choice when the pollster explained it gives parents the right to use tax dollars to send their child to public or private school.

Other figures showed 82 percent support the special needs ESA and, asked if they would support expanding it to all students, 65 percent said they would.

Citing conversations with parents, Brett Kittredge of Empower Mississippi said there has always been an anecdotal belief by the school choice advocacy group that Mississippi families support school choice.

"But this poll," he says, "sort of gives affirmation to that belief."

He predicts there will be a big push to expand the program to all students in the upcoming legislative session and he says those votes in the legislature will have a bearing on the state elections coming up next year.

"Our elections aren't until 2019. So it's odd-year elections," he advises. "But as the poll shows, voters again by a 2-to-1 margin are more likely to support a legislator, to vote for that legislator, who voted for this bill."

The poll shows 62 percent said they would be more likely to support a candidate who voted for the expansion compared to just 24 percent who said they would be less likely to do so.

The full poll results can be read here.


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