By US Daily Review Staff.
Voters in New Mexico strongly favor the creation of a private school choice program in their state, according to the results of a survey released yesterday by the American Federation for Children (AFC) — the nation’s voice for school choice — and the Hispanic Council for Reform and Educational Options (HCREO).
Sixty-four percent of survey respondents expressed support for scholarship tax credit programs, a number only eclipsed by the 76 percent who support special needs scholarship programs. A total of 57 percent of New Mexicans also said they support opportunity scholarships — 21 points higher than those who said they were unsupportive — while 60 percent favor education savings accounts, a new form of parental choice recently enacted in neighboring Arizona.
The poll, conducted by Democratic-leaning polling firm Beck Research, surveyed likely voters in five states — New Mexico, Arizona, Florida, New Jersey, and Nevada — with an oversample of Latino voters.
“Families deserve a choice. Not every student is a perfect fit for the nearest school. Parents should have this option to ensure their kids get the best education possible,” said State Rep. Antonio “Moe” Maestas (D). “Results from surveys like this will help my colleagues in Santa Fe realize what their constituents already know — New Mexico families want and deserve a choice.”
The survey results come just months after the state legislature failed to act on a proposals to create a scholarship tax credit program for children in low-income families across the state, as well as a similar proposal for children with special needs. Neither piece of legislation came to the floor for a vote, despite strong bipartisan support among lawmakers.
In addition to strong support among New Mexico residents, the survey showed strong support for parental choice and broader education reforms among Latinos nationally. Education ranks behind only the economy and jobs as the most important consideration among likely Latino voters.
In a campaign season dominated by talk of the economy, more than half (53 percent) of Latino voters also cited education as central to improving our country’s economic situation.
The Beck Research survey interviewed a total of 1,050 likely November voters, including an oversample of 300 Latinos. The poll’s margin of error is +/- 3.6 percent.