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Missouri Poll Shows Overwhelming Support for Reining in Charter Schools

2/29/2016

As the number of charter schools continues to rise, few states are paying adequate attention to how to hold these schools accountable to parents, communities, and taxpayers. But a new poll conducted in January 2016 shows that voters in Missouri and across the nation embrace proposals to reform the way charter schools are authorized and managed.

The poll shows overwhelming support for proposals to strengthen charter school accountability and transparency, including requiring companies and organizations that manage charter schools to disclose how they spend taxpayer money and allow public access to board meetings.

The poll’s key findings include:

  • Overwhelming majorities back proposals to strengthen transparency and accountability, increase teacher training and qualifications, implement anti-fraud measures, ensure high-need students are served, and make sure neighborhood public schools are not adversely affected.
  • 91% of voters support requiring companies and organizations that manage charter schools to open board meetings to parents and the public.
  • 88% of voters support requiring companies and organizations that manage charter schools to release to parents and the public how they spend taxpayer money, including their annual budgets and contracts
  • “School choice” ranks last in a list of the biggest concerns voters have for K-12 education—the top concern for Missouri voters is too much focus on standardized testing.
  • Far more popular than “school choice” or unaccountable charter schools is the concept of community schools, which serve as community hubs, ensuring that every student and their family gets the opportunity to succeed no matter what zip code they live in.

Five hundred registered Missouri voters were polled as part of a nationwide poll of registered voters conducted by GBA Strategies January 5-13, 2016 on behalf of In the Public Interest and CPD. Memos are available for the Missouri poll and nationwide poll.

For more information on the poll results, please contact Jeremy Mohler at jmohler@inthepublicinterest.org or 202-429-5091, or Anita Jain at ajain@populardemocracy.org or 347-636-9761.

 

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