NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Latino Perspectives on K-12 Education & School Choice

September 21, 2015

A new survey from the Friedman Foundation provides snapshots of how the Latino community describe their perceptions about the direction of American K-12 education and the federal government's performance in K-12 education.

The survey also presents Latino's views on education spending; grades and preferences for different types of schools; and school choice topics, such as charter schools, vouchers, education savings accounts and tax-credit scholarships.

The results are compared to responses of two other subgroups, Caucasians and African Americans. The survey found:

  • About 53% of Latinos believe education is going in the wrong direction versus 38% who think it's going in the right direction. However, low-income Latinos (47%) are relatively more positive than middle-income (32%) and high-income Latinos (26%).
  • Around 73% of Latinos rate federal involvement in K-12 education as fair or poor while only 23% of respondents rated it good or excellent.
  • Only 14% of Latino respondents were able to estimate the correct per-student spending range in public schools.
  • Latinos are more likely to give grades A or B to private schools in their communities, compared with their local public schools.
  • About 62% of Latinos support charter schools, while only 26% oppose them.
  • Approximately 71% favor school vouchers. Nearly 73% an education savings account program (ESA) and 76% said they support a tax-credit scholarship program.
  • About 40% said the amount of time spent on standardized testing is about right, compared with 31% who said it's too high.
  • 56% said they support the Common Core Standards compared with 35% who oppose that approach to developing and implementing academic standards.

Lastly, most Latino respondents stated that the best way the government can intervene in low performing schools is to supply vouchers or scholarships to affected families.

Source: Paul DiPerna, "Latino Perspectives on K-12 Education & School Choice," Friedman Foundation, September 2015.


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