New Marquette Poll: Majority Supports Major School Choice Expansion

Lauren Williams's picture
Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A poll released last Tuesday by Marquette University shows that 51 percent of Wisconsin voters support a major expansion of the state’s private school choice program.

The Marquette poll reported that 37 percent of Wisconsin voters would support a statewide expansion of the program while another 14 percent would support its expansion to large school districts with some failing schools.  In contrast, 14 percent of voters say they favor not expanding the program, while 28 percent would end it.

“The Marquette Poll demonstrates strong support for Governor Scott Walker’s efforts to expand school choice to families across the state who need better educational options for their children,” said Brian Pleva, Wisconsin Government Affairs Associate for the American Federation for Children.  “A clear majority of Wisconsinites believe more parents should have the right to choose the school that best meets their child’s needs.”             

Governor Walker included the proposal to expand the program in his 2013-15 biennial budget released in February.   

If passed, Governor Walker’s expansion plan would open up the program to low-income families living in school districts containing at least two schools identified by the Department of Public Instruction’s School Report Cards as meeting few expectations or failing to meet expectations.  Observers often refer to these classifications as ‘D’ and ‘F’ grades, respectively.  At present, this would expand private school choice to Beloit, Fond du Lac, Green Bay, Kenosha, Madison, Sheboygan, Superior, Waukesha, and West Allis-West Milwaukee.