New poll shows North Carolina voters favor school choice policies

Sep 13, 2012, 07:00 ET from The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice

RALEIGH, N.C., Sept. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than half of North Carolina voters support policies that would increase student access to private and charter schools, according to a new poll released by the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice and Civitas Institute.

The "North Carolina K-12 & School Choice Survey" found 65 percent of voters support charter schools and tax-credit scholarships for private schools; 15 percent opposed charter schools and 23 percent opposed the scholarships. Education savings accounts were supported by 56 percent of polled voters; 28 percent were opposed. Conducted by Braun Research, Inc., the statewide survey includes 601 landline and cell phone interviews completed June 18-24, with a margin of sampling error of + 4.0 percentage points.

"A majority of North Carolina voters clearly believe in empowering parents to choose their children's schools," Robert Enlow, the Friedman Foundation's president and CEO, said. "Every child deserves an excellent education tailored to his or her needs, regardless of whether that is in a public, private, charter, online, or home school."

Charter schools, which constitute fewer than 3 percent of all North Carolina public schools, are exempt from many regulations placed on traditional public schools. Recent passage of legislation to remove the state-imposed cap on the availability of charter schools is leading to an increase in that number.

Tax-credit scholarships for private schools are funded through individual or business donations, which are reimbursed by full or partial state tax credits. Education savings accounts are financed directly by the state and allow parents to pay for private school tuition, online learning programs, tutors, or future college expenses. Currently, North Carolina's only private school choice program is a non-refundable tax credit of up to $6,000 available to parents of special-needs children previously enrolled in public schools who now use private options.

"Parents want choice in education. Support for charter schools, tax-credit scholarships, and education savings accounts tells us that," Dr. Robert Luebke, Senior Policy Analyst with the Civitas Institute, said. "It's time we recognize these options are good for not only parents and students but for all North Carolinians."  

Poll results and their implications will be the topic of a September 18 luncheon discussion sponsored by the Civitas Institute and the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice at the Raleigh Crabtree Marriott. For additional details, visit the Civitas Institute's website:

The survey's questionnaire, complete results, and methodology are available at

About the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice
The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and nonpartisan organization, solely dedicated to advancing Milton and Rose Friedman's vision of school choice for all children. First established as the Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation in 1996, the Foundation continues to promote school choice as the most effective and equitable way to improve the quality of K-12 education in America. The Foundation is dedicated to research, education, and outreach on the vital issues and implications related to choice and competition in K-12 education.

SOURCE The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice