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School Vouchers in the Trump Era: How Religion and Political Affiliation Shape Public Opinion

Date and Time: 
Thursday, February 1, 2018. 12:00 PM - 02:00 PM
Meeting Location: 
Humanities Center Boardroom
CORE: Critical Orientations to Race and Ethnicity
Meeting Description: 

The expansion of school choice options, including increasing the funding for vouchers to be used by families, has been one of the highest priorities of U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’s agenda. But the ability of the administration to move voucher expansion from proposal to policy may depend on public support. Using a nationally representative poll, this study uses a randomized survey experiment to identify how two key dimensions of school voucher systems—source of funding and scope of coverage—affect school voucher support across various sectors of the American public. We find that respondents’ religious beliefs, race, and political ideology play significant roles in shaping voucher support. Our findings help untangle the demographic sources of political contention in the school voucher debate and have implications for our understanding of public opinion on education issues. 

This study was supported by the Laboratory for the Study of American Values. This event is co-sponsored by the Stanford Center for Education Policy Analysis and the Center for Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity.

Tina Cheuk is a PhD candidate in the Graduate School of Education. Her main research focuses on how K-12 science teachers support deep disciplinary literacy learning in science classrooms for diverse learners.

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