Poll: Michiganders overwhelmingly endorse parental choice in education

LANSING, Mich. Sen. Lana Theis said Friday a new poll indicating over 75% of Michiganders support the right of parents to choose what school their children attend is proof Gov. Gretchen Whitmer should sign the Let Kids Learn plan.

“It’s time for a change in Michigan K-12 education,” said Theis, R-Brighton, who chairs the Senate Education and Career Readiness Committee. “Parents desire and deserve more of a say in their children’s education, and this new polling data shows Michigan residents think they do too.

“Gov. Whitmer should listen to the people, embrace this unique moment in our state and sign the Let Kids Learn plan. It will empower parents to give their children — especially those with special needs or from underserved communities — better opportunities to learn and succeed, no matter what school they choose to attend.”

The poll, conducted by Lansing-based Marketing Resource Group, asked 600 Michigan residents whether they “support or oppose the concept of school choice, giving parents the right to use the tax dollars designated for their child’s education to send their child to the public or private school which best serves their educational needs.” Over 60% of respondents said they strongly support the concept, and an additional 15% said they somewhat support the idea.

The legislation would provide parents with Student Opportunity Scholarships that could be used for school-related expenses — both inside and outside the classroom — to help improve student achievement.

Scholarship funds could be used for tuition and fees at public, nonpublic or online K-12 schools, career and technical education programs, tutoring services, occupational and behavioral services, textbooks and learning materials, laptops and tablets, uniforms, athletics and more.

If enacted, Michigan would join several other states that offer, with great success, similar education savings accounts and tax-credit scholarships.

Senate Bills 687 and 688 were approved by the Legislature and are headed to the governor for signature.

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