Oklahomans Give Thumbs Up to School Choice – What Would Colorado Say?
The Friedman Foundation is one of the biggest supporters of school choice for parents in the U.S. Lately they have been going from state to state asking people their views about education. Their most recent stop is Oklahoma. Some of the findings were quite telling:
Nearly two out of three Oklahomans are content with current levels of public school funding. A large majority of voters (64 percent) say Oklahoma’s level of public school funding is either “too high” or “about right.” At least 67 percent of the poll’s respondents underestimate the state’s actual per-pupil funding, which suggests that the funding satisfaction level is probably a conservative figure.
More than four out of five Oklahomans would prefer to send their child to a school other than a regular public school—only 17 percent say a regular public school is their top choice….< Oklahoma voters value private schools—they are more than twice as likely to prefer sending their child to a private school over any other school type. When asked “what type of school would you select in order to obtain the best education for your child?” 41 percent of respondents selected private schools….
Interestingly, these results are largely consistent with the findings of the Friedman Foundation’s surveys in seven other states. Some details vary from state to state, whether citizens more strongly favor a voucher system, tax-credit scholarships, or charter schools.
But the point is that demand for school choice is growing among parents across state boundaries. Maybe someday one of these surveys will come to Colorado, and we can get a clear idea just how strong residents here support more educational options. I would guess support here is at least as strong as in Oklahoma and other places.
In the meantime, we’ll keep helping Coloradans understand just how important choice is to ensuring the best possible education for thousands of kids like me.