Charter school alliance poll shows support for ... charter schools
A new statewide poll commissioned by the Florida Charter School Alliance finds significant support for charter schools -- including support for a statewide authorizer, one of the alliance's top legislative priorities this year that school districts fear would take away local authority over public education.
The Herald/Times was given a copy of the poll results ahead of their official release, expected later this evening.
The alliance spent nearly $11,000 for National Victory Strategies to conduct the poll not knowing what the results would be, said Ralph Arza, a lobbyist for the alliance and a former Republican state lawmaker from Miami.
It's the first statewide poll Arza said he is aware of that focuses solely on education policies for charter schools -- which are publicly funded but privately managed. The alliance wants to use the results to inform and influence lawmakers in Tallahassee and school officials across the state, he said.
"It’s important for the members to see how the folks back home feel about charter schools and school choice," Arza said. "It's exciting to know you're on the right track and on the right side of these issues. Floridians want more choice not less, no matter where in the state."
But some of the questions in the poll appear to lean in favor of charter schools, and the small sample size for community-level results could call into question the validity of those specific findings.