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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Parents want choices

Parents want education options, concludes Never Going Back, based on a Mary 22 Harris Poll for the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. Ninety three percent of parents said "one size doesn't fit all" in education, and 86 percent want choices other than their assigned district school.

The pandemic forced parents to pay more attention to their children's education: 78 percent became more involved as a result, especially lower-income and non-white parents.

Eighty-three percent said that education has become a more important political issue to them than it was in the past, and 82 percent would be willing to vote outside their political party based on the candidate’s education platform. Of those surveyed, 35 percent were Democrats, 35 percent independents and 30 percent Republican.

More than one in four have tried a different school type to meet their children's needs.

Homeschooling was the most popular choice for school switchers, especially for lower-income families. Charter schools are in second place. High percentages of switchers said it was a positive change: 57 percent said their child is happier.

Black families are much more likely to homeschool now than before the pandemic.

Only 35 percent of parents are "highly satisfied" with the quality of their children’s education in public district schools, compared to 74 percent whose children who attend private schools and 72 percent of homeschoolers, the survey found.

Black and Hispanic parents appear particularly frustrated with their local schooling options and eager for more choices.

Seventy-seven percent of parents said safety was absolutely essential when it comes to their child's education. By contrast, only 58 percent of parents cited quality of instruction as absolutely essential and 41 percent cited individualized support for their child's needs.

Seventy-four percent of parents would consider a charter school, if one were available in their area, and 84 percent said charters should be available.

Charter parents were more likely to say they value "culturally affirming" environments for their child, perhaps because nearly 70 percent are Black or Hispanic.

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