Indiana K-12 & School Choice Survey Interview Dates: November 12 to 17, 2010 Survey Organization: Braun Research Inc. (BRI) Sponsor: The Foundation for Educational Choice Sample Frame: Registered Voters Sampling Method: Random Digit Dial (RDD) Sample Sizes: INDIANA= 1,017; Allen= 351; Elkhart & St. Joseph= 367; Floyd= 360; Hamilton= 351; Lake= 352; Marion= 372; Vanderburgh= 354; Vigo= 350 Weighting? Yes (Gender, Race, Age, Education Level) Margin of Error: ± 3.1 percentage points for the Indiana (STATE) sample; approximately ± 5.4 percentage points for each county sample Displayed numbers are percentages, unless otherwise noted. Because of rounding or “Don’t Know”/“Refuse” responses excluded for presentation, percentage totals for a given question may not add to100%.
What Do Registered Voters Think About K-12 Education in Indiana?• Indiana voters are dissatisfied with the current K-12 education system. This is nothing new or groundbreaking. Statewide, 51% of registered voters think that K-12 education is on the “wrong track” compared to 31% who think that it is going the “right direction.” This dissatisfaction with K-12 education holds true across all income, racial and political affiliation demographics, as well as in all of the counties surveyed except Vanderburgh County.• Indiana voters describe the state’s public school system more often as “fair” or “poor” (55 percent) than “good” or “excellent” (42 percent). This is true also across all income, racial and political affiliation demographics, as well as in all of the counties surveyed except Vanderburgh and Floyd County.• The highest percentage of “poor” rankings comes from African-Americans, Marion County voters and suburbanites (29%, 27% and 22% respectively)
What Do Indiana Voters Know About HowMuch We Spend On Education in Indiana From All Sources?• Indiana voters lack a basic awareness and knowledge about how much is spent in public schools. Disconnect between how much we actually spend and what voters think we spend.• Nearly two out of three respondents (64 percent) underestimated per- student spending in the public schools.• Almost 4 out of 10 voters think we spend less than $4,000 per-student.• The three groups that underestimate public spending the most are African-Americans (50%), voters in Lake County (49%) and voters with incomes between $25,000-$49,999 (46%).
What Type Of Schools Do Indiana Voters Want To Attend?• There is a disconnect between the types of schools that voters actually attend and the schools they would prefer to attend.• Indiana voters indicate they should have a variety of schooling options. When asked if they had the option to select any type of school to obtain the best education for their child, 41 percent said they would choose a private school, 38% a regular public school, 10 percent a charter school, and 7 percent a home school.• Those areas and groups with the highest preference for regular public schooling include voters living in Vigo and Floyd Counties (44% and 41% respectively) and families earning under $25,000 (46%).• Those areas and groups with the highest preference for homeschooling include voters living in Floyd County (15%), independents (10%) and those living in small towns (9%).• Those geographic areas with the highest preference for private schooling include voters in Allen County (53%), Elkart/St. Joseph County (48%) and Hamilton and Lake County (46%).• Those groups with the highest preference for private schooling include families earning between $25,000 and $75,000 and African-Americans (47%).
What Do Indiana Voters Know And Think About Charter Schools?• While there is still a lack of awareness of charter schools (except among Marion County Voters), 66% of Hoosiers favor charter schools compared to only 16% who oppose such schools.• Support for Charter Schools holds across all income, geographic and racial demographics.• By a 4-1 margin, respondents who said they “strongly favor” charter schools outnumber those who say they “strongly oppose” charter schools.• Additionally, voters more familiar with charters schools are substantially more likely to be favorable (77%) than those less familiar with them (61%).
What Do Indiana Voters Know And Think About School Vouchers?• As with Charter schools Hoosiers are largely unfamiliar with the concept of schools but they are very supportive.• More than 6 out of 10 voters favor school vouchers while fewer than 3 out of 10 (24%) oppose them.• The strongest support for school vouchers comes from voters in Elkart/St. Joseph, Marion and Vanderburgh Counties (76%,76% and 74% respectively), and from African-Americans (73%) and families earning between $25,000 and $50,000 (72%).• 64% of the Democrats surveyed support the concept.• A strong majority (73%) agree that vouchers should be available to all families. At the same time, 58% of Hoosiers disagree with the idea that vouchers should be based entirely on financial need.• Finally, as with Charter schools, the more familiar you are with vouchers the more likely you are to support them.