The 2014 version of The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice’s annual public survey is out, and I have been going through some of the findings over the past week or so.
Today, we look at a really interesting education question – does the American public support or oppose public charter schools. Friedman first asked people what they thought about charters based on what they already knew. Then, after providing some details about charter schools, they asked the question again. This graph summarizes the results.
It is clear from the way the responses shifted that many respondents across the nation didn’t know a lot about charter schools when they answered the first question. Still, there is a two to one advantage for those who favor charters over those who oppose them for both Questions 12 and 13 in the Friedman survey results.
By the way, lack of knowledge of charter schools is an especially big problem in Kentucky. There are no charter schools in the Bluegrass State, so the average Kentuckian’s knowledge about these public school choice options is lower than in the 42 states that currently have charter school laws. As Milton Friedman pointed out many times during his life, injecting competition for the traditional public school system in this state could have benefits both for the new choice options and the traditional system that would be spurred to compete or lose students.