A surge in demand for school choice follows expansions to school choice in 20 states last year.
MIAMI, FL –– More than half of U.S. parents (64%) say they wish they had more information about education options for their children, according to a parent opinion survey released today by the nonprofit National School Choice Awareness Foundation (NSCAF) in advance of National School Choice Week (January 21-27, 2024).
Overwhelming parent demand for school choice follows three consecutive years of state-level expansions to public, charter, magnet, private, online, home, and nontraditional education options –– including new or enhanced school choice programs in 20 states in 2023 alone.
According to NSCAF’s census-balanced survey of 2,595 U.S. parents of school-aged children, conducted January 2-4, 2024, 72% of parents said they considered sending at least one of their children to a different school last year –– a 35% increase over 2022.
According to the survey, 43% of parents who have more than one child in their household said that they have chosen different types of schools –– such as public, charter, magnet, private, online, home, or microschooling options –– for the children in their household. More than half of parents (59%) said they’d chosen a school for their children that was different than the type of school they themselves attended as children.
“Every parent wants their children to succeed and be happy, and they know that every child has unique needs and interests,” said Andrew Campanella, NSCAF’s President and CEO. “Since the pandemic, parents have shifted their preference away from finding specific types of schools, and instead focused on selecting schools that –– regardless of their structure or how they are funded –– best fit their children’s needs.”
NSCAF’s survey indicated that strong demand for school choice is matched by strong parent interest in learning more about the education options available for their children, with 64% of parents saying they wish they had more information about available learning options and half saying they discussed schooling options with friends and family in the last week or month.
“Parents today have more choices for their children’s education today than at any other time in history,” Campanella said. “But if parents want to exercise their choices, they need to start the school process this winter, well before the 2024-2025 school year. The best place to start is to identify the goals you have for your child’s learning, and then start making a list of the schools in your area.”
NSCAF provides the nation’s largest, cost-free, comprehensive portfolio of school navigation resources for parents, including state-specific school choice roadmaps and ultimate guides to topics like special education and microschooling, at schoolchoiceweek.com and in English at opcionesescolares.com.
Information and resources for journalists can be found at schoolchoiceawareness.org.
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The National School Choice Awareness Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that informs, inspires, and empowers parents to discover and navigate K–12 education options for their children. NSCAF organizes high-impact charitable programs, including National School Choice Week and Conoce tus Opciones Escolares, in collaboration with Navigate–the National School Choice Resource Center, which is also a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.