2019 Schooling in America Survey - EdChoice


  • Oct 24 2019

2019 Schooling in America Survey

By Paul DiPerna, Drew Catt, Michael Shaw

This is the seventh edition of EdChoice’s Schooling in America Survey. In 2019, we reported polling results based on a nationally representative sample of the general public, with more robust samples of parents, current public school teachers, Millennials and Generation Z. As we do in all of our surveys, we asked our standard questions about schooling experiences and educational choice reforms, but went further to learn how people feel about hot-button K–12 subjects that seem to polarize lawmakers and advocates, including inter-district busing, teacher protests and children’s use of technology.

Click to listen to our podcast in which the authors of the report discuss their findings.

What Will I Learn? Download Report

Breaking Down EdChoice's 2019 National Survey


In this report, you will learn:

  • 1

    Parents’ schooling preferences don’t match their kids’ actual educational experiences.

    Parents’ schooling preferences do not line up with their real-world experiences. Eighty-two percent of current students attend a public district school, but less than a third of current school parents would prefer it. Less than half of public school teachers (47%) would prefer to send their own kids to public district schools. This finding shows a real lack of access to educational choice, and it seems younger generations will come to expect more of it for their kids. Thirty percent of Gen Z started their schooling somewhere other than a public district school.
  • 2

    People like ESAs best, especially when they are open to all families.

    When you describe how education savings accounts (ESAs) help families not just afford private school but also to customize an education for their kids, nearly everyone supports them. Without a description of how ESAs work, general public support for ESAs is middling, but given a description, public support rose by 31 points to 77 percent, and teacher support increased 26 points to 78 percent. Current school parents were significantly more likely than those other two populations to favor ESAs after being provided a definition (85%).
  • 3

    People don’t know what schooling costs—public or private—but most still think public schools need more money.

    Americans are more likely to overestimate how much private school tuition costs ($10,676 on average) than they are to overestimate what public schools cost ($12,201 on average). Without information, a majority (54%) of the general population think public K–12 funding is too low. Once given actual average spending statistics, only 41 percent still think funding is too low.
  • 4

    Younger generations are most supportive of busing students to schools outside their assigned district, and current public school teachers really oppose it.

    Half of the general public (50%) and school parents (51%) support providing busing across school district lines, but opposition to inter-district busing increases when you make the purpose for racial or economic integration. Opposition increases even more when you make it mandatory. At least half of Gen Z and Millennials supported busing across district boundaries, and they don’t mind if it’s mandatory. More than 60 percent of current public school teachers oppose inter-district busing no matter which way you describe it.

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