The Citizen - Page 10

P a g e | 10 Education Education policy The 2015 Sangamon County Citizen Survey included several questions examining education policy including support for charter schools, school vouchers (private/charter schools at taxpayer expense), and bullying prevention. We examine levels of support among public school parents, private school parents, and Sangamon County residents who did not have a child between the ages of five and 18. 100% 90% Support for a variety of education policies 93% 88% 89% 75% 80% 67% 70% 60% 63% 61% 50% 40% 30% 20% 20% 26% 10% 0% Support bullying prevention Favor idea of charter schools Public school parents Private school parents Favor school vouchers Not parents KEY FINDINGS:  Eighty-nine percent of individuals believe bullying prevention (including physical and cyber-bullying) should be part of school curriculum. This is higher than the national average of 78 percent of national survey respondents in the 2012 PDK/Gallup poll who support such an initiative.1  While 63 percent of respondents in the 2015 Citizen Survey favor the idea of charter schools, only 26 percent favor allowing students and parents to choose a private school to attend at the public’s expense (school vouchers). Nationally, 37 percent of the population favors this type of policy (as reported in the 2014 PDK/Gallup poll2). Indicated in the figure, Sangamon County residents are slightly less supportive of this type of initiative with 26 percent reporting they “favor” this education policy, 67 percent report they “oppose,” and seven percent report they either “don’t know” or refused to answer the question.  African-American residents are more likely to favor both the idea of charter schools as well as charter school vouchers. Forty-one percent of African-American residents favor charter school vouchers compared to 24 percent of white residents.  Private school parents are significantly more likely to support charter school vouchers than public school parents. Sixty-three percent of private school parents favor vouchers compared to 20 percent of public school parents. 1 2 Data is available at http://valees.org/pdf/pdk_2012_gallup_poll.pdf. Data is available at http://pdkpoll.pdkintl.org/#13.