While school choice policies are overwhelmingly popular across all major demographics, Black parents, when provided a definition of those policies, support them to a higher degree than white parents according to a new survey from EdChoice.

The survey, which included 405 Black parents of K-12 students as well as a nationally representative sample of 1,134 K-12 school parents, shows 81% of Black parents favored vouchers, 10 percentage points higher than the supportive share of white parents. Notably, there was no difference in support between low-income Black parents and high-income Black parents.

Meanwhile, 80% of Black parents support education savings accounts compared to 76% of white parents; support for charter schools is slightly higher among Black parents at 74% compared to 73% for white parents.

 

For the survey, vouchers were described as a system that allows parents the option of sending their child to the school of their choice, whether that school is public or private, including both religious and non-religious schools, using tax dollars currently allocated to a school district to pay partial or full tuition for the child’s school.

Income levels were broken down into low income (less than $35,000); middle income ($35,000 to $75,000); and high income (more than $75,000). Support for vouchers among those levels was 79%, 83% and 79%, respectively.

The survey described education savings accounts as a government-authorized savings account with restricted but multiple uses for educational purposes that can be used to pay for school tuition, tutoring, online education programs, therapies for students with special needs, textbooks or other instructional materials, and future college expenses.

Level of support among income levels was slightly more varied on this question, with 75% of low-income families, 86% of middle-income families, and 81% of high-income families showing favor for education savings accounts.

The survey described public charter schools as public schools that have more control over their budget, staff and curriculum and are exempt from many existing public school regulations.

The survey queried respondents on several other education-related topics and returned these key findings:

·       Black parents have maintained similar levels of comfort when it comes to their children returning to in-person learning when compared to March. Nearly half of Black parents believe it will be safe for their children to go back by September 2021.

·       Nevertheless, both Black and Hispanic parents are more likely than white parents to prefer schooling take place at home in some capacity. Just over 40% of Black parents signaled they would like schooling to occur at home three or more days per week after the pandemic.

·       Over two-fifths of Black parents say they are currently participating in or looking to form or join a learning pod – an increase of 5 percentage points since March. Hispanic parents remain more interested in both pods and tutoring than both Black and white parents.

·       Both Black and Hispanic parents are more likely than white parents to believe that offering additional resources for their children would be beneficial for their development this upcoming school year.

·       Black parents are less likely than both white and Hispanic parents to either vaccinate themselves or their children.

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