by Donna Martinez
Former Senior Writer and Editor, John Locke Foundation
My Locke colleagues Dr. Terry Stoops and Dr. Bob Luebke in the Center for Effective Education are the experts in school choice and education policy, so be sure to follow their analysis of this and other school choice data.
When I saw the data, I was stopped in my tracks because of two items.
First, a positive result.
1. Major school choice policies remain popular with most teachers. After teachers received basic definitions of terms, education savings accounts (ESAs), school vouchers and charter schools received some or strong support from 77 percent, 57 percent and 64 percent, respectively. Teachers who work at private or charter schools supported each of these policies more than district school teachers, and teachers with fewer than 15 years of experience were more supportive than teachers with more experience. Vouchers were the least popular of the three major school choice policies among teachers. Though, voucher support grew amongst all teacher groups when more information was provided.
“Parents need to be able to find where that fit is.”Locke’s Dr. Bob Luebke
Watch Dr. Luebke talk about a culture
of personalized education.
Second, a dismaying result. Teachers are unaware of the facts about the massive resources devoted to teaching children. Ironically, this issue is the one that creates the shouts and demands from teacher unions and Leftists. Perhaps there would be less shouting and demanding if teachers are schooled on the issue.
6. Teachers severely underestimate the level of per-student government spending in public schools. When provided a government-reported spending statistic, teachers were a lot less likely to say expenditures were “too low.” The median teacher thought per-student spending in public schools was $5,000 per year. In our monthly general population survey, we find the same estimate from the median adult. Per-student expenditures are actually more than double what the median teacher or median American adult expected—more than $12,000 per student.
What does North Carolina spend? From Locke’s Policy Solutions 2022:
The more you know, the more you support empowering parents and nurturing kids by giving them the ability to choose the learning environment that works best for them – not for the system.