Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Oklahomans’ support for school choice is becoming difficult to deny



Since 2014, numerous scientific surveys of Oklahoma voters have measured Oklahomans’ views on various forms of private-school choice (vouchers, tax credits, education savings accounts, et al.). And time after time, they have found support. Here is the survey research that has shown support for parental choice:
  • Braun Research survey (registered Oklahoma voters), January 2014
  • Tarrance Group survey (registered Oklahoma GOP primary voters), July 2014
  • SoonerPoll survey (likely Oklahoma voters), January 2015
  • Tarrance Group survey (registered Oklahoma voters), January 2015
  • Cole Hargrave Snodgrass and Associates survey (registered Oklahoma voters), December 2015
  • SoonerPoll survey (likely Oklahoma voters), January 2016
  • SoonerPoll survey (likely Oklahoma voters), July 2016
  • Cor Strategies survey (likely Oklahoma voters), August 2017
  • Cor Strategies survey (likely Oklahoma voters), May 2018
  • WPA Intelligence survey (registered Oklahoma voters), January 2019
  • WPA Intelligence survey (registered Oklahoma voters), April 2019
  • Cor Strategies survey (likely Oklahoma voters), August 2019
  • Amber Integrated survey (registered Oklahoma voters), December 2019
  • Cor Strategies survey (likely Oklahoma voters), August 2020

And here is the survey research showing that Oklahomans oppose school vouchers (the survey didn't ask about tax credits or education savings accounts):
  • Public Opinion Strategies survey (likely Oklahoma voters), March 2015

Like the film critic Pauline Kael, who couldn't understand how Nixon beat McGovern (given that everyone she knew had voted for McGovern), many in the public education community’s epistemic bubble simply cannot come to terms with the reality that most Oklahomans favor educational choice. But a fair reading of the evidence shows pretty clearly that Oklahoma parents want options and they want the money to follow the child.

So why doesn’t the money follow the child? Political scientists can explain why (government employees are able to pick their politicians and keep kids trapped in an iron triangle), but that’s small consolation for the children who need options right now.

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