Parent Demand for School Choice Surges
Frustrated by COVID disruptions to their children’s schooling, authoritarian teachers unions, critical race theory in curriculums, and seeking higher-quality education environments, nearly 14 percent of U.S. parents are currently considering finding new or different schools for their children, according to the results of a national survey released today by National School Choice Week.
An additional 38 percent of parents reported that within the past year, they chose a new school for at least one of the children in their home or considered doing so. In total, 51.7 percent of parents considered or are considering new schools for their children.
Notably, 62 percent of Black parents and 59 percent of Hispanic or Latino parents indicated that they considered or are considering new schools, compared with 47 percent of white parents.
The census-balanced survey of 2,715 parents of school-aged children aged 5-18, conducted January 3-6, 2022, indicated intense parent interest in school choice, which is the process of families searching for and choosing the traditional public, charter, magnet, private, online, or home learning environments that best meet the needs of their children.
Among the 48.3 percent of U.S. parents who are not considering new schools, or did not within the past year choose or consider new schools, 18 percent indicated they were likely to start the process of searching for new schools for their children in advance of the 2022-2023 school year.
36 percent of parents reported that at least one primary reason for considering a new school was the “desire for a higher quality education” for their child(ren). 34 percent said they considered new schools because “the pandemic and/or school COVID policies disrupted my child’s education.” 26 percent of parents were “concern[ed] about school safety or bullying.”
Parents indicated a willingness to consider a variety of different types of schools for their children. When asked to indicate all of the different types of schools they considered or would consider for their children: 38 percent indicating they considered or will consider a traditional public school within their school district, 35 percent considered a private or faith-based school, 32 percent considered a traditional public school in a different school district, 31 percent considered a public charter school, 26 percent considered a full-time online school, 25 percent considered full-time homeschooling, and 20 percent considered a public magnet school.
“For an increasing number of U.S. families, school choice is a necessity, as moms and dads search for learning environments where their children can best learn, thrive, succeed, and be happy,” said Shelby Doyle, vice president of public awareness for National School Choice Week. “Parents in many places have more school choice options today than at any time in history, and they are taking the initiative to find the right fit for their children. We encourage parents who want to look for new or different schools for next school year to start the school search process in January to make sure they have enough time to evaluate all of their options. Raising equal awareness about the traditional public, charter, magnet, private, online, and home schooling options for families is the goal of National School Choice Week.”
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