New Survey Shows Black Voters Strongly Support Parental Choice for Educational Options in New Jersey

More than 90% say they also consider a candidate's views on education before casting their vote

Black voters in New Jersey overwhelmingly support providing parents with high-quality educational options that include a mix of traditional public, public charter and opportunity scholarships to attend private schools, according to a new survey released by the New Jersey Black Alliance for Educational Options (NJBAEO).. The study provides a comprehensive look at the attitudes of Black voters and their views on parental choice, education reform, Common Core and assessments.

The survey reveals clear support for greater freedom in the K-12 education system with a noticeable majority supporting educational options in their school districts. There was also widespread recognition for the need for better quality schools, which includes ample support for charter schools and scholarships for low-income and working-class Black families to have access to private schools. The survey also indicated solid support among Black voters that believe educational standards such as Common Core and its related assessments is essential to holding education stakeholders responsible for student learning outcomes.

"Black voters in New Jersey play a vital role in how the state implements education policies that impact the future of our children," said NJBAEO State Director LaVar Young. "It's clear that voters are interested in hearing from candidates that have the most compelling educational reform policies in the upcoming election cycles. Parental choice is key to having a more engaged community that will fight for our children to have access to high-quality teachers and schools, including traditional public schools, public charter schools and private schools to serve low-income and working-class Black families. It's time candidates pay attention to this constituency."

The survey polled 600 Black voters in the state. Some of the overall findings include:

  • 94% of respondents say a candidate's views on education is important to them before they vote;

  • 65% support school vouchers to provide scholarships to send children to eligible private schools;

  • 75% say they support providing parents with more educational choices in their local school districts;

  • 65% of voters' surveyed support options like charter schools;

  • 65% say assessment testing is necessary to hold schools accountable.

"When we see reading and math scores decline in both fourth and eighth grades in the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), we know that change is needed," said BAEO Director of Policy and Research Tiffany Forrester. "And when we see 70% support for more parent choice options such high-quality traditional public, public charter and scholarship programs, it's a strong indicator that Black voters know what they want for their children and are engaged in the education reform process."

The 2015 BAEO poll was conducted in August 2015 by JMC Analytics and Polling. The margin of error, with a 95% confidence interval, was 3.8%.