The Mackinac Center for Public Policy worked on this survey project from November 2005 through September 2006. We provided assistance to the survey researcher, Adam B. Schaeffer, who was then a National Research Initiative Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., by collaborating on the survey instrument, offering relevant and limited information from our database, handling technical details of inviting and following up with participants, and editing and publishing this document.

We were interested in the survey project because of our long involvement in school choice issues. We have published various studies and reports on parental choice in Michigan public education, including cross-district choice, dual enrollment and charter public schools. We have also worked extensively to educate citizens on programs that would provide more opportunities for Michigan parents to choose independent schools: We have published work on vouchers and proposed a unique “universal tuition tax credit” program. Any school choice policies in Michigan that include independent schools would require an amendment to the state constitution, and such policies have thus far remained proposals. Nevertheless, many of our findings and recommendations can be adapted for use in other states.

Over the years, we have been privileged to assist many institutes and grass-roots groups by training hundreds of public policy institute executives from North America and around the world. Our twice-yearly training conferences have had waiting lists every time they have been held since 1998.

We at the Mackinac Center hope that publishing the results of this survey will stimulate discussion among our friends and associates about parental choice policy innovations.

Ryan S. Olson
Mackinac Center Director of Education Policy