Majority of Green Bay, Racine Respondents Favor School Choice

MacIver News Service | May 26, 2011

[Madison, Wisc…] A majority of those sureyed in the Green Bay and Racine school districts favor the expansion of School Choice program to those areas.

“Most telling from the poll is the sense of urgency among Racine and Green Bay voters that educational options should be available to low income, working class, and special needs families now,” said Brian Pleva of the American Federation for Children.  “Parents are clearly frustrated with promises year after year that their assigned, neighborhood schools will get better.”

The Federation and School Choice Wisconsin released two polls today showing majorities of residents in Racine (55 percent) and Green Bay (51 percent) support expanding the successful Milwaukee Parental Choice Program to their communities.

Large majorities in both communities—71 percent in Racine & 69 percent in Green Bay—also back creating a special needs scholarship, which is currently being considered by the Wisconsin State Legislature in the form of Assembly Bill 110.

79 percent of those polled in Racine  and 74 percent in Green Bay agreed with the statement that, Our children should have the right to the best education right now and shouldn’t have to wait for public schools to get better some day in the future.

The poll was conducted by On Message, Inc.

Expanding school choice to low and middle income families in Racine and Green Bay also attracts a plurality of support from all political persuasions in most cases.

Support/Oppose Racine Choice Support/Oppose Green Bay Choice
Democrats 46%/43% 44%/46%
Independents 57%/34% 46%/43%
Republicans 65%/20% 64%/22%

64 percent of parents with children under the age of 18 support school choice in both communities and represent the largest demographic that support the initiatives.

They surveyed the Racine Unified School District and the City of Green Bay via telephone interviews on May 22-23.  Each survey includes responses of 300 likely general election voters.