UT Tyler poll: 60% of Texas voters support school choice
TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - A new poll from the University of Texas at Tyler shows education is among the top policy concerns for Texas voters. The results also reveal how voters feel about school choice and how the words used when questioning voters affects their response.
“We have tracked attitudes on this question for three surveys with simple experiment. Half of the respondents received a question that expressly identified school choice as the option to use state funding to send their children to private schools,” said Dr. Mark Owens, associate professor of political science and director of the UT Tyler Center for Opinion Research.
“They supported the policy 60% of the time, which is in line with polling from August, September and October. The real change in attitudes this month is that respondents who received the same description, but school choice was not mentioned, show significantly more support than our prior surveys. Also, the positive bias associated with framing the issue as school choice, like Lt. Gov. Patrick has, is smaller in this study than any we have done before.”
A challenge for this policy will be how it is framed in the public discourse. Support for school choice is 6% lower among the 52% of registered voters in Texas who strongly agree that it is critical that there be a clear separation of church and state, according to Owens.
The latest UT Tyler poll began on Feb. 20, just days after Gov. Abbott’s State of the State address, and ended Tuesday, Feb. 28, with 1,190 total interviews of registered Texas voters.
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