Louisiana voters support educational choice

The runoff election for Louisiana’s governor, along with legislative and Board of Elementary and Secondary Education seats takes place this Saturday. It would be instructive for aspiring and current elected officials to understand how voters feel about issues related to educational choice.

The Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools (LAPCS) surveyed registered voters statewide on their views of charter schools. The survey showed 62 percent supporting charter schools, while just 19 percent were opposed.

When respondents were​ provided with a factual description of charter schools, focused on charter schools having more flexibility in exchange for greater accountability, support​ for charters​ increased to 79 percent (13 percent opposed).

survey of African-American voters in Louisiana by the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO) showed strong support of all educational choice options, including charter schools.

The BAEO survey showed 66 percent of respondents supported charter schools (16 percent opposed). When asked about their support of parental choice options, 78 percent responded favorably (10 percent opposed).

Participants in the BAEO survey were also asked, “How important is a candidate’s position on education related issues?” An overwhelming 93 percent said it was important.

Ann Duplessis, president of the Louisiana Federation for Children, says parents are learning the power of their collective voices.

“What I would love to see is that we strengthen their voices, so that they are feared and not just heard,” says Duplessis.

The LAPCS survey was conducted in June 2015 and the BAEO survey in August 2015.