Skip to main content

POLL: Voters oppose charter school expansion, favor strengthening local public schools

New Deal for Higher Ed

NYSUT and the United Federation of Teachers recently released a new poll showing New York voters overwhelmingly oppose any expansion of charter schools and instead want elected officials to focus on programs that strengthen regular local public schools.

The poll, conducted by Hart Research Associates, shows that opposition is overwhelming — and consistent — across regions, party affiliations and racial groups, the polling found.

Key takeaways from the poll include:

  • Seventy-nine (79) percent of voters say they oppose plans to increase the number of charter schools in New York and shift funding away from regular local public schools. Opposition was overwhelming – and consistent – among region; party affiliation and across racial groups. Among the findings, 85 percent of Democrats; 68 percent of Republicans; 77 percent of unaffiliated voters; 77 percent of Black voters; 81 percent of Hispanic voters and 79 percent of New York City voters reject expanding charters and siphoning money from their own local neighborhood public schools.
  • When asked about their top education priorities, 94 percent of voters want to see expanded literacy programs for struggling students; 92 percent want more access to career and technical programs that prepare students for jobs, and 88 percent would urge elected leaders to address shortages of teachers, counselors and nurses in public schools. Just 7 percent of voters listed expanding charters as one of their top two priorities.
  • By 79-20, voters say “strengthening regular local public schools and making sure that every neighborhood has a good local public school” is more important than “giving parents more choices … by increasing the number of charter schools.” Public school parents oppose charter expansion by a margin of 80-20.
  • Meanwhile, in social media posts throughout the week, more and more legislators voiced opposition to the executive budget’s charter school plan.