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African-American Parents in N.C. Want School Choice

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A new poll finds “disproportionately” high support for the state’s Opportunity Scholarship Program among African-American families in North Carolina. The poll, released last week by Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina and the American Federation for Children (PEFNC), found African-American parents in North Carolina want lawmakers to take a “both/and approach” to educational options.

Among the polls most interesting findings:

  • “More than 8 in 10 [85%] African-American voters believe state lawmakers must do more to expand educational options for families in our state,” while just “7% think state government is doing enough.”
  • Strong support for state-funded scholarships crosses the ideological spectrum with 65% of liberals, 60% of moderates, and 81% of conservatives wanting “parents to be able to use state-funded scholarships” to “choose the K-12 school their child attends.”
  • A strong majority (58%) view North Carolina’s Opportunity Scholarship program favorably, with positive perceptions increasing as household income decreases.
  • Despite comprising only 22 percent of North Carolina’s population, African-Americans “account for nearly 40 percent of all Opportunity Scholarship applicants.”
  • Nearly two-thirds (65%) of all those polled, and a staggering 72% of parents of school-aged children, would apply for a scholarship if eligible.
  • Even 31% of those who object to the scholarships as a matter of policy would apply for one if they met the eligibility requirements.
  • Supporting school choice programs increases the voter appeal of candidates as “65% of African-American voters would be more likely to support a candidate who favors giving parents expanded educational options.” Only 14% of respondents say such a position would lessen their support for a candidate.

As PEFNC President Darrell Allison pointed out on last week’s Family Policy Matters radio program, support for North Carolina’s scholarship programs does not necessitate a lack of support for North Carolina’s traditional public schools. PEFNC’s poll found that, “Among African-American voters who prioritize better funding and improvement of public schools, 50% also favor school choice.”

To learn more about the many school choice options available to North Carolina families, listen to a recent “Family Policy Matters” radio interview between NC Family President John Rustin and PEFNC President Darrell Allison.


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