NOT So Important to Swing State Voters in November: Vouchers, School Choice and Merit Pay


A fascinating survey from the College Board is getting significant play from the education media. Joy Resmovits  reported yesterday of the survey’s interesting focus on what swing state voters were saying about education policy. So did Education Week reporter Alyson Klein who offered this:

Voters don’t necessarily place a priority on the issues that the Obama administration has steered money to. Just 31 percent want to see funding go to expand school options, such as charters. And just 24 percent place a priority on merit-pay bonuses for teachers. School choice doesn’t seem to register much either—just 17 percent of voters want to see money for vouchers to help low-income parents pay for private schools

I guess Rick Scott and his republican legislative allies aren’t in touch afterall with what actual voters want in Florida. Perhaps the only voices they hear are that of Jeb Bush, Patricia Levesque and the Florida Chamber of Commerce.  Have the three created a faux public clamor for vouchers, choice and merit pay that doesn’t exist? And one that’s dominated the last three straight legislative sessions in Tallahassee?

All the swing states  surveyed – Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Nevada, New Mexico, Virginia, and Wisconsin have republican governors except two:  Colorado and North Carolina.  All have significant initiatives underway which include at least some of the education  focuses that aren’t deemed so important to voters in their states. With the survey showing that 78 percent feel that increased funding for education is necessary, the relative unpopularity of vouchers, school choice and merit pay looms larger for policy-makers in ways they’ve never been faced with.

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About Bob Sikes

A long time ago and a planet far, far away I was an athletic trainer for the New York Mets. I was blessed to be part of the now legendary 1986 World Series Championship. My late father told me that I'd one day be thankful I had that degree in teaching from Florida State University. He was right and I became twice blesses to become a teacher in the late 1990's. After dabbling with writing about the Mets and then politics, I settled on education.
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