Colorado K–12 And School Choice Survey
By Paul DiPerna
The Colorado K–12 & School Choice Survey examines Coloradans’ views on the state of K–12 education and various education reforms. The poll examines Colorado voters’ knowledge of school funding and probes voters’ reasoning for supporting or opposing policies like school vouchers, education savings accounts (ESAs), and charter schools. The survey also includes several split-sample questions for further insights into voters’ knowledge and opinions.
In this report, you will learn:
Education is the highest priority issue for Colorado voters.Coloradans are much more likely to say that K–12 education has gotten off on the “wrong track” than that it is heading in the “right direction.” Nearly one out of four respondents (24 percent) said education was “the most important issue facing the state” right now, even over economy and jobs, which garnered only 22 percent support as the state’s top issue.
There is a disconnect between education preferences and reality.When asked if they had the ability to select any type of school to obtain the best education for their child, 36 percent said they would choose a private school; 31 percent said regular public school. However, about 82 percent of K–12 students today attend public schools, and only about 5 percent are enrolled in private schools.
Colorado voters support educational choice policies at high levels.Sixty-one percent of Colorado voters support school vouchers, and 60 percent favor ESAs. Fewer voters—54 percent—favor tax-credit scholarships. Respondents who favored school choice policies said they did so because they think the reforms give parents more freedom and flexibility and give kids access to schools with better academic outcomes.
Charter schools are also well supported.Nearly seven out of 10 respondents (68 percent) said they favor charter schools, whereas only 23 percent of respondents said they oppose them. Coloradans also are almost three times as likely to express intensely positive responses toward charters schools (32 percent “strongly favor” versus 12 percent “strongly oppose”).