The survey asked:
Q.52 Please tell me if you agree or disagree with the following statement. Parents should get tax-funded vouchers they can use to help pay for tuition for their children to attend private or religious schools instead of public schools?
This wording should push the answers in an anti-voucher direction – the choice of the words “tax-funded” and “instead” are favored by opponents of vouchers. By contrast, a pro-voucher wording might be “Parents should be able to choose the best school for their children, using their portion of the taxes collected for education,” or something like that.
Therefore, it is doubly interesting that despite wording that should suppress a pro-voucher response, nearly two-thirds of parents support having the choice of vouchers.
Nearly half (49%) of all respondents favor vouchers, and most of them (31% of the total) favor them “strongly.” When we move from all respondents in general, to parents in particular, the proportion favoring vouchers leaps from half to two thirds, with most of them favoring vouchers strongly.
What is even more interesting is that single parents, who generally are more liberal than married parents, take the conservative, pro-voucher view even more strongly than the marrieds do. Whereas 40% of married parents strongly favor vouchers, 45% -- almost half -- of single parents do.
By contrast, barely a fifth of parents strongly oppose vouchers – 21% for married parents, and only 17% for single parents.
I will revisit this question when the full dataset is released, to see how other groupings – by race, class, sex, and religion – feel about vouchers.
Until then, we have this strong finding to ponder: when it comes to schools, parents are strongly pro-choice.