RALEIGH—Diverse constituencies of North Carolinians are in agreement that K-12 education is on the wrong track, according to a voter survey recently released by two pro-reform organizations. The poll also shows support, particularly among parents, for “school choice” policies.
The “North Carolina K-12 & School Choice Survey” found that majorities across all major demographic groups believe K-12 education has “gotten off on the wrong track.” Among parents, only 35 percent are happy with the direction of North Carolina K-12 education.
In response to such sentiments, the survey’s sponsors – Raleigh’s Civitas Institute and the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice – are encouraging what they call “common sense reforms” to put education back on the right path. That will be the topic of discussion today at a luncheon hosted by the two organizations at the Raleigh Crabtree Marriott.
“Now’s not the time to point fingers for lagging performance and dissatisfaction,” said Dr. Robert Luebke, senior policy analyst with the Civitas Institute. “Now’s the time to find solutions for our kids. As other states have proved, there are effective, efficient ways to give all students the learning opportunities they deserve.”
For Luebke, and the Friedman Foundation’s president, Robert Enlow, that means adopting more school choice programs, which allow parents to choose educational options outside traditional public schools. The survey sponsors point to education savings accounts, or ESAs, which are state-funded accounts that allow parents to pay for private schools, online options, tutors, or future college expenses. Among North Carolina parents, 72 percent support ESAs. Nationwide, Arizona has the only ESA program.
“North Carolina already has taken an important step in providing parents of students with special needs the power to select other schooling options, including private schools,” Enlow said, referring to a personal tax credit for educational expenses passed by the legislature in 2011. “Still, there are more parents who want, and need, school choice to find the learning environments that work best for them and their kids.”
Lunch & Learn: School Choice – The Road Ahead
When: Tuesday, September 18th, 2012, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Where: Raleigh Crabtree Marriott Hotel, 4500 Marriott Drive, Raleigh NC
With Special Guests:
• NC House Majority Leader Paul Stam
• NC Senator Jerry Tillman
• NC Rep. Marcus Brandon
• Paul Di Perna, Research Director, The Friedman Foundation
• Dr. Terry Stoops, Director of Education Studies, John Locke Foundation
• Lindsey Burke, Skillman Fellow in Education, Heritage Foundation
For additional details on today’s luncheon event, see the Civitas Institute’s web site: www.nccivitas.org/events/?ee=63. The survey’s questionnaire, complete results, and methodology are available at EdChoice.org/NCpoll.
About the survey: The “North Carolina K-12 & School Choice Survey” project, commissioned by the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice and conducted by Braun Research, Inc. (BRI), interviewed a statistically representative sample of registered voters in the state of North Carolina. Methodology included probability sampling and random-digit dial. The statewide sample includes a total of 601 telephone interviews completed in English from June 18 to 24, 2012, by means of both landline and cell phone. The margin of sampling error for the statewide sample is ± 4.0 percentage points.
For more information, contact Jim Tynen at 919-834-2099.