Momentum clearly grows for opportunity scholarships in the Tennessee State Legislature
Press Release, NASHVILLE, TENN. (Feb. 25, 2015) – The Tennessee Federation for Children today released the results of a poll commissioned with OnMessage, Inc. to investigate voter perceptions about education issues in Tennessee. The polling memo from OnMessage, Inc. can be found here: http://bit.ly/17rPyJk.
“This survey overwhelmingly shows that voters want to give parents the power and opportunity to choose to send their children to a school where they will receive a high-quality education,” said Tony Niknejad of the Tennessee Federation for Children. “The data shows that Tennesseans of every political stripe increasingly support this over the years. And the majority of Tennessee voters think that teacher’s unions care more about their own interests than about actually focusing on a quality education. The time has come for our children to realize their educational dreams and for parents to be in charge.”
I. When asked about specific opportunity scholarship legislation that is presently before the state legislature that “would allow parents to use the money the state has set aside for their education to send their children to a public, private, or religious school of their choice rather than the local public school they are assigned,”
• 59% of all TN voters support the specific legislation. This is an 8% increase from 2013.
• 69% of GOP primary voters support the specific legislation. This is an 8% increase from 2013
• 67% of voters in the Memphis Media Market support the specific legislation
• 65% of voters with children in the household support the specific legislation
• 68% of self-identified Republicans, 61% of Independents, and 49% of Democrats support the specific legislation
II. Voters also were asked to grade Tennessee public schools, and the average GPA was 2.20. When asked about schools in “your home county” the results were slightly more favorable with an average GPA of 2.42.
III. Tennessee voters have a consensus on their opinions about teachers' unions. When asked if they believe teachers' unions “care more about money and their own benefits instead of focusing on a quality education for our kids,”
• 52% of all TN voters believe teachers unions care more about money.
• 61% of Independents believe teachers unions care more about money.
• 65% of Republicans believe teachers unions care more about money.
The poll was conducted from February 2-4, 2015 with 600 likely voters and a 200 person oversample of likely GOP primary voters, with a margin of error of four percent. The polling memo from OnMessage, Inc. can be found here: http://bit.ly/17rPyJk.