Poll: Voters like school choice, not teacher privatization

LANSING, Mich. — Nearly 60 percent of Michigan voters said in a recent poll that they support Michigan’s current charter school law, while 45 percent said they would oppose lifting the cap on the number of charter schools and 40 percent would not oppose it, according to media reports and a press release from the polling firm.

Results were divided on a number of education issues raised in the poll, which was conducted by EPIC-MRA and commissioned by the Michigan Education Association, according to WILX-TV. Polling took place in September among 800 Michigan voters; the margin of error was 3.2 percent, according to the Detroit Free Press.

The Senate Education Committee is debating a package of education reforms that including lifting the charter cap, expanding schools of choice programs, allowing schools to hire teachers through private firms and a “right-to-teach” proposal under which teachers could not be required to join or financially support a union in order to keep their job, according to the reports.

In those areas, 52 percent of respondents said they support mandated schools of choice in districts that have space available and 68 percent opposed privatizing teaching services, according to the Free Press. On “right-to-teach,” 49 percent of respondents initially supported it and 39 percent were opposed, but after “hearing arguments against it,” the tally changed to 55 percent opposed and 35 percent supportive, the press release stated.


WILX-TV, “Poll: Majority of Voters Not in Favor of Eliminating Charter School Cap,” Sept. 27, 2011

EPIC/MRA, “Press Release - Michigan Polling Results on GOP Legislative Proposals on Education,” Sept. 27, 2011


Michigan Capitol Confidential, “Charter School Demand Continues to Rise,” Feb. 8, 2010