BREAKING: New Statewide Survey Shows 3 in 4 New Mexicans Support Greater Access to Public Charter Schools

82% ofNew Mexico residents believe parents need more public school choices in their community, and three in four residents believe public charter schools, specifically, help improve public education and would like to see more public charter schools developed/grown across our state. That’s according to a new statewide survey of New Mexicans, conducted by Research & Polling Inc. and commissioned by the Chamber and several partner organizations working to ensure every New Mexico child is able to receive a high-quality education in a great public school.

Support for developing more public charter school options is strong across the political spectrum and in every corner ofNew Mexico. Nearly 7 out of every 10 Democrats and over 8 out of every 10 Independents and Republicans believe the state should “develop and open more public charter schools in the state.” Regionally, support is highest in the Albuquerque Metro area (77%), Eastern New Mexico (79%), and Las Cruces/Southwest NM (75%). It remains strong in North Central New Mexico (73%) and Northwest New Mexico as well (65%).

“Expanding high-performing public charter schools — and opening new ones — is one important way to lift student achievement across the education system and get more students into learning environments that fit their needs to help them learn, grow academically, and find success,” said Chamber President and CEO Terri Cole. “We also can’t afford to wait. Our students can’t languish in schools where they’re simply not progressing adequately – families need to have options right now where kids from all backgrounds can get a great education,” she added. Across New Mexico, public charter schools that get great academic results for kids — especially low-income and minority student populations — have long waiting lists. Thousands of parents want their children to get into public charter schools that simply do not have room for them.

Those who have children in the household, not surprisingly, are among the most supportive of public charter schools. 84% want New Mexico to develop and open more public charter schools, and 80% believe charter schools improve public education.

“For so many families right now in New Mexico, a great public charter school representsa lifeline for their children. It’s their key to the American Dream, to opportunity, to a great career – it starts with learning, and we as a state need more children to access that,” said GACC Board Chair-Elect Bruce Stidworthy.

The survey also found strong opposition to past proposals that would impose a moratorium on the opening of new charter schools.

Charter schools are free public schools, open to anyone. Expanding access to them is part of the Chamber’s overall portfolio of work to improve public education, one of the top three policy areas we work on. Find our full Plan of Action, with our priorities for the year ahead, here.

Pollsters interviewed of 601 New Mexicans in August, and the poll has a margin of error of4 percent. It was commissioned by NewMexicoKidsCAN, the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, Public Charter Schools of New Mexico, Excellent Schools New Mexico, the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce, and Teach Plus New Mexico.

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