Idahoans Want Choice and Alternatives in Education

Published April 7, 2008

A poll of 1,000 likely Idaho voters released last week has some damning results for public schools: Only 12 percent of Idahoans say they would send their kids to a “regular public school” if given a choice of any type, and among voters aged 36-55 — the most likely group to include parents who use the state’s educational services for their children — that number dropped to a dismal 4 percent.

Other findings of the poll reveal:

  • 45 percent of voters rate the state’s public school system as “poor” or “fair”;
  • 66 percent say public schools already have enough funding; and
  • 63 percent say the average public school teacher in Idaho already earns enough money, or too much.

Given their dissatisfaction with the educational status quo, it should come as no surprise that voters’ support for school choice is strong:

  • Among the 88 percent of total respondents who said they would not choose a “regular private school,” all said they would prefer private schools, charter schools, or home schooling; and
  • Among all respondents, when asked their preferred choice to provide scholarships to children, 60 percent favored school vouchers; 59 percent said they favor a personal tax-credit system; and 57 percent favor a corporate tax-credit system.

For more information, contact The Heartland Institute’s media relations manager, Harriette Johnson, at 312/377-4000, email [email protected].