School Choice is Important in the Black Community

In March 2013, the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO) commissioned a survey of Black voters in four Southern states (Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana and Mississippi ) to gauge attitudes and opinions within the Black community on education reform, charter schools and the need for parental choice in their community. The findings indicate strong support among this significant segment of the population for greater freedom in K-12 education, widespread recognition of the need for better quality schools, and openness to charter schools and publicly funded scholarships as reform vehicles.

Among the respondents, selected at random and broadly diverse in age and income:

  • ¬†Eighty-five percent to 89 percent in each state agreed that government should provide parents with as many choices as possible to ensure that their child receives a good education.
  • Fifty-five percent to 58 percent in each state (and 73 percent in the New Orleans area) said they would not send their children to the public schools to which they are currently assigned if they had a choice.
  • Less surprising, 74 percent of Black voters in Alabama who rated their community schools poorly expressed the desire to send their children elsewhere.

The survey data underscore the fundamental appeal of parent choice and transformational education reform as concepts within the Black community.

Source: “A Survey Report on Education Reform, Charter Schools, and the Desire for Parental Choice in the Black Community,” Black Alliance for Educational Options, 2013.

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