Jane R. Gordon
Focus Group Moderator
June 14, 1999
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Lowman S. Henry / (717) 671-0776
PHILLY VOTERS WANT SCHOOL
PA -- A Lincoln Institute APulse
Poll conducted in the City of Philadelphia earlier this month found 72%
of voters support giving parents the right to choose which public
school their children should attend.
Support for school choice was strongest among black voters, 74% of
whom said they wanted the option of choosing where their children
attend schools, 70% of white voters said they back school choice.
Philadelphia Republican voters support school choice by a
78% to 15% margin. Sixty-nine
percent of Democrats said they want school choice rights, while
23% voiced opposition.
When the question was expanded to give parents the right to choose
among public AND private schools, 66% continued to support school
choice. Support for
public and private school choice was stronger among white voters,
68% of whom support extending choice to private schools, while 63%
of black voters approved of including private schools among school
Extending school choice to faith-based schools also received
support from a majority of the voters surveyed.
In answer to the question: Do
you favor or oppose a voucher system where by parents would get
money from the government to send their children to any school of
their choice? 56% of voters said they would favor such a
system compared to 36% who were in opposition.
said the school choice findings were consistent with past survey
questions on the issue asked by the Lincoln Institute.
A September 1998 survey found 59% of voters in Cumberland,
Dauphin and York counties supported giving parents the right to send
their children to public, private or parochial schools.
In a poll conducted in 11 southwestern Pennsylvania counties
(including Allegheny) in September of 1997, 69% said they supported
a school choice plan giving parents the options of public, private
or religious schools.
Seventy-seven percent feel the state government should pay a
greater share of local
When it comes to teacher salaries, 13% said public school
teachers are paid too much, 33%
said they are paid about the right amount, 37% said
their pay is too low.
Fourteen percent said too much money is being spent on public
education in Pennsylvania
today, 18% said about the right amount is being spent to educate
students, and 56% said not enough money is being spent on public
Lincoln Institute in a Harrisburg-based non-profit educational
foundation which conducts public opinion research on key statewide
and local public policy issues.