Phoenix--A poll released today by the Goldwater Institute shows Hispanics in Arizona overwhelmingly support school choice measures that have been routinely opposed by the Hispanic Caucus. 82 percent of Hispanic adults support expanding to all students. Arizona's current laws that provide private school tuition scholarships for disabled children and those in foster care. Last year, 14 of 16 members of the Hispanic Caucus voted against those two measures.
The poll surveyed 501 Hispanic adults in Arizona and was conducted for the Goldwater Institute by Oklahoma City-based Wilson Research Strategies.
These poll results confirm that Arizona families, regardless of ethnicity, believe in educational opportunity. A message cant get clearer than 82 percent support for school choice. This should be a wake up call to lawmakers, says Darcy Olsen, president of the Goldwater Institute.
Last year, the Arizona legislature passed three school choice measures to create private school scholarships for k-12 students: a tax credit for businesses that contribute to scholarship organizations for low-to-moderate income families, scholarships for children with disabilities, and scholarships for children in foster care. These measures passed largely in spite of the Hispanic Caucus, but there were a few exceptions:
- Four Hispanic Caucus members voted for the tax credit: Senator Linda Aguirre (D), Senator Jorge Garcia (D), Senator Richard Miranda (D), and Senator Rebecca Rios (D).
- Only one member of the Hispanic Caucus, Senator Rebecca Rios (D), voted for the scholarship for children in foster care.
- Only one member of the Hispanic Caucus, Senator Victor Soltero (D), voted for the scholarship for children with disabilities.
82 percent of poll participants supported expanding these types of private school scholarships to all of Arizona's k-12 students.
Moreover, improving education was cited by Hispanics as the most important priority for government. This result held among all age groups, income levels, and for both genders.
Theres good news in this poll for the Hispanic Caucus. We know what issue is most important to Hispanics and how they feel about school choice. All the Caucus needs to do is start representing its constituents, concluded Ms. Olsen.
The Goldwater Institute is a non-profit research organization developing policy solutions that foster economic and educational freedom, on the web at goldwaterinstitute.org. See below for detailed question results.