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  • Oct 11 2016

Breaking Down Our “2016 Schooling in America” Survey

This year’s report features a special focus on Millennials and new questions for parents.

 

Born between 1981 and 1997, Millennials are approximately 75 million strong, and the percentage of Millennials that make up America’s school parent population is set to grow exponentially over the next 10 years.

As part of our 2016 Schooling in America Survey, we oversampled Millennials in an effort to better understand where this generation of current and future school parents compares with others (and the national average) on K–12 education policies. This is also the first year we asked parents specific questions about the lengths to which they’ve gone for their children’s education.

Flip through the slide show below to learn and share these top findings:

 

 

 

What You’ll Learn:

 

TOP ISSUE PRIORITIES

Millennials:

  1. Economy/Jobs
  2. Education
  3. Immigration, Healthcare (approx. two-way tie)

 

National Average:

  1. Economy/Jobs
  2. Healthcare
  3. Education, Immigration, Values Issues (such as gay marriage, abortion, death penalty)

 

 

DIRECTION OF K–12 EDUCATION

Wrong Track

Millennials: 58%

National Average: 62%

 

Right Direction

Millennials: 25%

National Average: 24%

 

 

MILLENNIALS ON K–12 EDUCATION SPENDING 

Without Knowing How Much We Spend Now

8% Too High

24% About Right

55% Too Low

 

After Being Told We Spend $10,763 Per Student on Average

14% Too High

29% About Right

37% Too Low

(Note: $10,763 per student in 2012–13, $11,009 in 2013–14)

 

 

PREFERRED SCHOOL TYPE VS. ACTUAL ENROLLMENTS 

Millennial Preferences: 30% public, 38% private, 11% charter, 12% home school

National Average Preferences: 28% public, 42% private, 11% charter, 10% homeschool

Estimated Enrollments Today: 83% public, 10% private, 5% charter, 3% home school

(Note: Preferences reported in this table reflect the compsite averages of split-sample responses to two slightly different versions of this question.)

 

SCHOOL SWITCHERS

“Have you ever changed your child’s school over the summer or during the school year?”

All Current School Parents/ Current Millennial School Parents: 38%

 

 

MILLENNIALS’ MOST IMPORTANT SPECIFIED REASONS FOR CHANGING SCHOOLS

30% moved

21% needed better education/more opportunities

12% needed more one-on-one/personalized education

8% didn’t like teachers/staff/curriculum

3% preferred other schooling type/moved out of public schools

 

 

WHAT PARENTS HAVE DONE TO SECURE THEIR CHILDREN’S K–12 EDUCATION

Changed Jobs

Millennials: 18%

National Average: 14%

 

Moved

Millennials: 26%

National Average: 17%

 

Taken Another Job for Additional Income

Millennials: 32%

National Average: 21%

 

Taken Out a New Loan

Millennials: 11%

National Average: 11%

 

 

HOW PARENTS GET THEIR KIDS TO/FROM SCHOOL

They Transported

Millennials: 68%

National Average: 74%

 

Had Family or Friends to Transport

Millennials: 55%

National Average: 47%

 

Paid for Transportation

Millennials: 30%

National Average: 15%

 

 

HOW PARENTS ACCOMMODATE THEIR SCHOOLING CHOICES

Significantly Changed Their Daily Routine

Millennials: 41%

National Average: 38%

 

Asked Family or Friends to Look After Their Children

Millennials: 58%

National Average: 49%

 

Paid for Before or After Care Services

Millennials: 39%

National Average: 35%

 

Paid for Tutoring

Millennials: 20%

National Average: 22%

 

 

SCHOOL VOUCHERS

Favor

Millennials: 61%

National Average: 56%

 

Don’t Know/Refused

Millennials: 16%

National Average: 15%

 

Oppose

Millennials: 23%

National Average: 28%

(Note: Results reported in this table reflect the composite averages of partial-sample responses to three slightly different versions of the school voucher question.)

 

CHARTER SCHOOLS 

Favor

Millennials: 63%

National Average: 59%

 

Don’t Know/Refused

Millennials: 18%

National Average: 18%

 

Oppose

Millennials: 19%

National Average: 23%

 

 

EDUCATION SAVINGS ACCOUNTS (ESAS)

Favor

Millennials: 57%

National Average: 49%

 

Don’t Know/Refused

Millennials: 22%

National Average: 24%

 

Oppose

Millennials: 21%

National Average: 27%

(Note: Results reported in this table reflect the composite averages of partial-sample responses to two slightly different versions of the ESA question.)

 

 

TOP REASONS MILLENNIALS FAVOR OR OPPOSE ESAS

Favoring

More Freedom and Flexibility for Parents

More Individual Attention

 

Opposing

Potential for Fraudulent Behavior

Divert Funding Away from Public Schools

 

 

To sum it all up:

Most people think education is on the wrong track, and the gap between people’s schooling preferences and actual enrollments is wide. The data also show parents are going to great lengths not just to afford the best schooling option for their children, but also to secure transportation and other necessary services.

It’s time to make getting a great education easier for families.

Notably, Millennials and Gen Xers—those most likely to be parents of school-aged children now—show strongest support for the type of educational choice known as ESAs when compared to older generations.

The time is now for educational choice.

 

For more the full reports and other additional survey-related documents, visit: EdChoice’s 2016 Schooling in America Survey and EdChoice’s Millennial Perspectives report.

To contact the authors, Vice President of Research and Innovation Paul DiPerna and Director of State Research and Policy Analysis Andrew D. Catt, email paul@edchoice.org and/or dcatt@edchoice.org.

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