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Floridians Want More School Options, Strong & Equitable Charter School Law

Summary of Findings from Latest Survey

July 2012

The Center for Education Reform (CER) conducted a random survey of registered Florida voters* to gauge their knowledge and perceptions of charter schools. Key findings are highlighted below.

Floridians strongly support charter schools. 60 percent of surveyed Floridians say they support “allowing communities to create new public schools, called charter schools, that give parents a choice of where they send their children that would be held accountable for student results and that would be required to meet the same academic standards/testing requirements as other public schools but not cost taxpayers any additional money.” Support is strongest (81 percent) among those registered voters with school-aged children.

Floridians support equitable funding of charter schools. Given that charter schools are public schools yet receive only 75 percent of the funding that all other public schools receive, 61 percent of those surveyed agreed that charters should be funded the same or more as all other public schools.

Floridians understand and support charter school laws that allow multiple authorizers. After being told, “other states allow entities such as universities, mayors and new independent state boards to approve and help monitor charter schools,” 54 percent agree, “the legislature should grant one or more of these entities the authority to approve the creation of and to help monitor charter schools in Florida.”

Floridians are aware of charter schools, but still do not identify them as public schools. Of the 76 percent who said they know at least a little about charter schools, only 35 percent correctly identified them as public schools.

*The Center for Education Reform partnered with Majority Opinion Research – a leading U.S. research organization based in Atlanta, GA – to conduct a random statewide telephone survey of 517 registered voters between June 18 and June 19, 2012.  The margin of error for the Florida survey is +/- 4.2 percent.

For related press release, click here.