NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

What Do Nevada Voters Think About Education Reform Matters?

March 24, 2015

A bill that would create a tax-credit scholarship program is making its way through the state legislature in Nevada right now. What do Nevada voters think about such reform potential and other K-12 education matters in their state? 

Here are six key findings from the "Nevada K-12 & School Choice Survey"

  • They are more likely to say education is "the most important issue facing the state" than other states. One out of three respondents (33 percent) said "education" was the most important issue facing the state, edging out "economy and jobs," which is typically ranked the top issue in states.
  • A very large proportion of Nevadans have a sharply negative view of the state\'s public school system. More than three out of four Nevada voters (76 percent) described the system as "fair" or "poor."
  • Approximately 23 percent of voters give an A or B to local public schools, whereas 81 percent give an A or B to local private/parochial schools.
  • Severe gaps exist between personal school preferences and actual school enrollment in Nevada. A plurality of voters said they would choose a private school (43 percent) as a first option. Almost one out of four voters (24 percent) would prefer to send their child to a district public school. However, the actual enrollments shows 91 percent of children attend district public schools.
  • More respondent in the survey prioritized "better education/quality" (17 percent) than any other coded response to explain why they selected a certain school type in the previous item.
  • The percentage of those who favor tax-credit scholarships (64 percent) is much larger than the proportion of voters who say they oppose such a school choice reform (25 percent). Also, voters are more likely to signal intense positive responses toward tax-credit scholarships (29 percent "strongly favor" vs. 13 percent "strongly oppose").

Source: Paul DiPerna, "Six Survey Snapshots of Nevada\'s Education Landscape," Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, March 12, 2015.


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