Survey says: Parent awareness of school choice is leading to greater demand

Parents are increasingly aware of school choice expansion across the country, and they want more — more education options and more information about those options, according to a recent survey by the National School Choice Awareness Foundation.

The January 2024 survey of 2,595 U.S. parents reveals that they “increasingly see school choice as a ‘new normal.'”

Seventy-two percent considered new schools for their children last year — a 35 percent increase compared to 2022 — and a majority are considering exercising school choice options in 2024.

Source: National School Choice Awareness Foundation

And it’s not a partisan issue. In fact, “parents who identified as Democrats chose new schools for their children” in 2023 at higher rates than Republican parents — 56 percent to 40 percent, reports the National School Choice Awareness Foundation. Sixty-four percent of parents want more information about the different education options available for their children, and a majority of parents say they send their children to different types of schools than where they attended when growing up.

With the explosion of school choice expansion in 20 states last year, “parents want in,” notes the National School Choice Awareness Foundation.

And this includes North Dakotans. An October 2023 survey conducted by Arc Insights on behalf of yes. every kid. foundation found 68 percent of likely voters across the state support school choice. More than six-in-10 (64 percent) support a school choice policy called Education Savings Accounts (ESAs), with support high across all key demographic subgroups, especially K-12 parents.

More than seven-in-10 of North Dakota voters (72 percent ) support the state legislature working on giving families more K-12 education options, and nearly eight-in-10 (78 percent) feel it is extremely/very important for the state legislature to work to improve K-12 education during the next legislative session.

With more than half of North Dakota students not meeting basic proficiency in reading (56 percent) or math (60 percent), it couldn’t be more clear that one school type doesn’t have the capability to meet the educational needs of every individual child.

This week is National School Choice Week (yes, I’m wearing my yellow scarf!) and is an opportunity to highlight effective K-12 education options and celebrate parent empowerment. American Experiment North Dakota stands in support with the National School Choice Awareness Foundation in their belief that “every child deserves an effective, challenging, and motivating education.”

As a state that ranks dead last in educational freedom, it’s time for North Dakota to prioritize education reform policies that remove financial barriers preventing all students from having the opportunity to access the learning environment that best sets them up for future success.

It’s a cause that brings North Dakotans from all backgrounds, perspectives, and walks of life together, and is one that American Experiment North Dakota will continue championing until it becomes a reality in the state.