Majority of Kentuckians Want Access to Nonpublic School Tuition Assistance, Poll Finds

A single-question poll to Kentuckians shows a majority of voters think a new school choice program should be expanded to include non-public school tuition statewide.

The poll, finds 71 percent of Kentucky’s likely voters support the expansion of a law passed last year that allows private funding for student tuition assistance to non-public schools. The law currently allows for the state’s eight largest counties to use the program. The poll, conducted by Cygnal on October 20 – 21, 2021, on behalf of EdChoice Kentucky to 600 likely voters has a margin of error of +/- 4 percent.

Pollsters asked, “The Education Opportunity Account Act includes preschool and K-12 tuition assistance for families who would like to send their children to a non-public school, but this part of the program is limited to residents of Kentucky’s eight largest counties. Do you agree with nonpublic school tuition assistance being limited to these eight counties or do you believe that non-public school tuition assistance should be available to all Kentucky families, regardless of where they live?”

Six percent of respondents said the nonpublic school tuition assistance should be limited to the eight largest counties. Nearly 72 percent of respondents said the tuition assistance to nonpublic schools should be expanded, and 21 percent were undecided.

“School choice is popular among Kentuckians, and it has a proven record of results across the country. There is no legitimate reason any Kentucky family should face obstacles in designing the right learning environment to fit their child’s needs,” said Andrew Vandiver, EdChoice Kentucky president. “The recent Virginia gubernatorial election solidified education as a top issue for groups across the political spectrum. Now more than ever, parents are tuned-in to their children’s educational needs, and they’re showing robust support for school choice.”

Republicans overwhelmingly supported the expansion for assistance with private schools, with 80 percent of GOP identifying respondents agreeing with the statewide Education Opportunity Account (EOA) Act.

Education funding and issues will likely be a major issue in local and state campaigns in the next two Kentucky election cycles.