WASHINGTON, D.C. – Millennials support charter schools and private school vouchers in overwhelming majorities, particularly to help low income and minority students stuck in terrible public schools.
A recent report by GenForward, a University of Chicago national bimonthly survey of 18-34 year olds, shows support across all races for charter schools, with blacks showing the strongest support at 65 percent, followed by 61 percent of Asians, 58 percent of Latinos, and 55 percent of whites.
And support was even higher for vouchers used to cover private school tuition for low-income students.
USA Today reports:
The new survey found that many millennials support publicly funded vouchers that help cover low-income students’ tuition at private schools. The proposal is radioactive to most Democrats and teachers’ unions, but GenForward found that the idea earns support from large majorities of millennials: 79% of African-American respondents, 76% of Asian Americans, 77% of Latinos and 66% of whites.
The survey shows most millennials also support universal vouchers for all students, regardless of income.
“However, support drops when respondents are asked to consider vouchers for all students: 69% of African Americans support this proposal, along with 60% of Asian Americans, and 66% of Latinxs. Whites are evenly divided in support and opposition to vouchers for all students, with 49% of whites on either side,” according to the report.
And while millennials seem to disagree with teachers unions and most Democrats about the need for school choice, the data shows many seem to buy the liberal perspective that money, rather than parents, can fix the problems plaguing public schools.
Respondents of all races cited increasing school funding, improving teacher training, and increasing teacher pay as the best ways of improving “education in your local school district,” GenForward reports.
“At the very basic level, I think it reveals complexity,” GenForward researcher Vladimir Medenica told USA Today.
“Millennials really think about education holistically,” said Medenica. “They don’t fall neatly on either side of an education-reform or union-based debate. They have a rounded understanding of education and a rounded preference in terms of how to approach some of these issues.”
Other interesting findings centered on free tuition at public colleges and freedom of speech.
Vast majorities of millennials think “free” college is a good idea, with support from 86 percent of blacks, 84 percent of Asians, 85 percent of Latinos, and 73 percent of whites.
As for freedom of speech, “majorities of all millennials support limiting (either in all or in extreme cases) language that is intentionally offensive to certain groups,” according to the report.
A whopping 88 percent of Latino millennials think suppressing free speech is warranted under certain circumstances, followed by 81 percent of Asians, blacks and whites.
That support for censorship extends to racially insensitive costumes and political views that upset certain groups.
Sixty percent of blacks, 73 percent of Asians, 71 percent of Latinos and 61 percent of whites surveyed support school officials limiting political speech in either all or “extreme” circumstances.