Poll: Idahoans Trust Public and Private Schools More than Charters

Two-thirds of Idahoans have faith in their public and private school education institutions, a new Idaho Politics Weekly poll shows.

But that confidence drops when it comes to public charter schools, and falls significantly when adult Idahoans are asked about their favorable opinions of homeschooling and online schooling programs, finds IPW pollster Dan Jones & Associates in a new survey.

Their education opinions may be a bit old school (sorry about the pun).

But public school advocates have been suspicious about charter schools for some time, fearing they are taking money away from traditional public schools.

(Charter schools are public schools, funded by local school districts and state government. Charter schools usually have a theme, like learning high tech use, music and drama and such.)

Homeschooling is seen as offbeat by many parents, the home school advocates fearing liberal religious or moral influences in public schools.

Online education, still rather new and unconventional, may be best for special needs children, very bright or troubled children who greatly excel or fall back in a traditional school setting.

In any case, Idahoans like their “old school” public and private schools, Jones finds:

  • 66 percent of Idahoans give a “favorable” opinion of public schools – either a 4 or a 5 on a 1-to-5 unfavorable/favorable rating scale.
  • 19 percent are neutral (a 3 rating) on public schools.
  • While 13 percent (a 1 or a 2 rating) have an “unfavorable” opinion of public schooling, grades K-12.
  • Only 1 percent didn’t have an opinion on public school.
  • 63 percent of Idahoans like private education, 21 percent are neutral, and 14 percent don’t like private schooling.

Public opinion then starts to turn on public charter schools.

  • 55 percent still have a favorable opinion of them, but 21 percent are neutral, and 14 percent don’t like charter schooling.

Just over a third of Idahoans, 38 percent, have a favorable opinion of homeschooling – not a great endorsement.

  • 26 percent are neutral.
  • But 32 percent disapprove of homeschooling.

Forty-one percent like online teaching.

  • But 31 percent are neutral.
  • And 23 percent actually don’t like online schooling programs.

Via Idaho Politics Weekly