Latino Voters Say Education More Important Than Immigration
How important is education to Latino voters? More than immigration, according to a recent poll released by the American Federation for Children and Hispanic Council for Reform and Educational Options.
Forty-nine percent of likely voters and 58 percent of Latino voters polled said the presidential candidates should speak more about how they will improve education. Fifty-three percent of Latino voters and 43 percent of voters overall said improving education is crucial to improving the nation’s economy.
“The commonly touted narrative that the key to Latino voters is entirely centered around immigration misses the realities facing so many Latino families, who are desperate for better educational options for their children,” said Malcom Glenn, communications director for the American Federation for Children.
Democratic polling firm Beck Research polled 750 likely voters, 117 of whom were Latino. Sixty-nine percent of Latinos and 57 percent of all likely voters supported vouchers.
Latino Education Crisis
With current graduation rates for Latinos students at 50 percent—far lower than the national average of approximately 75 percent—it is little surprise so many Hispanics are concerned about education.
“Hispanic families are desperately looking for bold action to improve our country’s educational system,” said Israel Ortega, editor of the Heritage Foundation’s Libertad.org.
Many Hispanic families live where local public schools are not meeting their children’s needs, says Julio Fuentes, HCREO’s president and CEO. School choice is the only way such families can obtain quality education, he said.
“Hispanic families understand receiving a quality education is the key to unlocking the path to achieve the American Dream, and that is why Hispanics are supportive of ways of increasing accountability and transparency through greater choice,” Ortega said.
Support for School Choice
The poll revealed Latinos support school choice by wide majorities. Ninety-one percent of Latinos polled and 85 percent of likely voters said some form of voucher or tax-credit scholarship should be available to all families.
Sixty percent of Latino voters agreed “giving parents more choice of schools will improve the education system.”
“These poll results underscore not only the supreme importance of expanding school choice to communities nationwide, but also the strong demand for expanded options,” Glenn said.
"American Federation for Children/Hispanic CREO Survey Findings," May 2012. http://www.federationforchildren.org/system/uploads/201/original/AFC_HCREO_Poll_Report.pdf
Image by the Lumina Foundation.