Most likely voters in Colorado want the government to provide Child Safety Accounts (CSAs), a survey reports.
The poll found 54 percent of those surveyed favor CSAs, while 32 percent are opposed.
Likely voters were asked to express whether they support the following idea: “Allow parents of children that have been the victims of bullying or violence in public schools the ability to enroll their child in a private school to ensure their safety. Parents could use the tax money designated for their child’s education to pay for the tuition.”
The poll was conducted by Cygnal, a consulting firm, for the education reform group ReadyCO on December 11-13, 2019, surveying 636 Coloradans likely to vote in the November 3, 2020 general election.
Widespread Support Found
Support for CSAs was greater than opposition among all income groups. The strongest support was expressed by lower-income people, with favorable responses by 65 percent of individuals in families making less than $50,000 per year, and 53 percent in the $50,000 to $100,000 income bracket. Only 47 percent of individuals in families with incomes over $100,000 supported CSAs.
Fifty-two percent of Hispanic voters support CSAs, compared to 53 percent of white voters. Responses by African Americans, Asians, Native Americans, and additional groups are combined in an “Other” category, 59 percent of whom said they favor CSAs.
Majorities of Democrat and Republican voters alike supported CSAs: 53 percent and 59 percent, respectively.
Popularity ‘No Wonder’
The broad support for CSAs is easy to understand, says Tim Benson, a policy analyst with The Heartland Institute, which first promoted the idea of CSAs and publishes School Reform News.
“Considering about one in five students in Colorado were subject to bullying in 2017, their parents are right to seek an option that can get their children into a school where they can continue their education safely and peacefully,” Benson said. “Child Safety Accounts can help them do that.
“It is no wonder that this program is so popular throughout the Centennial State,” Benson said. “Every Colorado family should have the opportunity to remove their child from an unsafe school environment. With CSAs, this would become reality.”
‘Strong, Crosscutting Support’
Policymakers should take note of the majority opinion on CSAs, says Vicki Alger, a senior fellow with the Independent Women’s Forum.
“Virtually any way you slice it, overwhelming majorities of Colorado voters support Child Safety Accounts, regardless of race, political affiliation, education level, or age group,” Alger said.
“When a public policy garners such strong, crosscutting support, elected officials should heed their constituents and enact a CSA program to help parents keep their children safe at school,” Alger said.
Legislation to implement CSAs has been introduced in Colorado and other states, as well as for the District of Columbia through Congress.
Joe Barnett (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the managing editor of School Reform News.
Joe Barnett, “Congress Considers D.C. Child Safety Account Bill,” Budget & Tax News, May 22, 2019: https://www.heartland.org/news-opinion/news/congress-considers-dc-child-safety-account-bill