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Most Parents Support School Choice, Finds Poll by Charter Advocacy Group

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By Sarah Tully. This story originally appeared on the K-12 Parents and the Public.

About 80 percent of parents reported that they support the ability to choose a public school, regardless of where they live, in a national poll conducted by a charter school advocacy group.

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools released the results of its survey of 1,003 parents about their attitudes toward school choice and charter schools. The support for school choice was higher among African American, Latino and low-income parents, the poll states.

"This survey confirms to us the importance of all parents being able to choose the public school that best meets their children's needs," said Nina Rees, the alliance's president and chief executive officer, in a statement. "We are listening to parents and will continue to fight so that all families have the option to send their child to a high-quality public school."

The poll, released Thursday, also showed about half of respondents have a positive view of charter schools. That number rose when they were read a definition of charter schools. But between 15 and 20 percent of respondents consistently responded that they oppose charter schools, whether they existed in their communities or not, according to the results.

About 70 percent of participants said they would welcome having charter schools in their neighborhoods.

Nationwide, about 3 million students are in charter schools, making up about 6 percent of public school enrollment.

The opinions expressed in the survey are similar to those reported in last year's PDK/Gallup poll. About two-thirds of those respondents said they back charter schools and parents choice in selecting any public school in their community for their children. 

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