(WXYZ) - The average voter in Michigan believes students perform better in charter schools but want the state to regulate them in the same way they do traditional public schools. That’s the finding of a brand new EPIC MRA poll released exclusively to WXYZ-TV 7, the Detroit Free Press and our statewide media polling partners in Lansing, Flint and Grand Rapids.
When 600 likely Michigan voters were recently surveyed, 30 percent said they believed charter schools performed better than public schools. Twenty-one percent said they perform worse and 15 percent couldn’t make up their minds.
But when the respondents were asked about state regulation, 31 percent said there is too little for charter schools. Fourteen percent said they are regulated too much and 29 percent were undecided. Michigan voters had even stronger opinions about transparency when it involved their tax dollars. Eighty-two percent said for-profit charter schools “should be required to fully and publicly explain how they spend all tax dollars.” Only fifteen percent believe for-profit charter schools should not have to report publicly how they use tax dollars. Three percent had no opinion.
The EPIC MRA poll, conducted August 22 – 25, also found that 73 percent of Michiganders want a “moratorium” on any new charter schools until problems with them are fully investigated by the Michigan Department of Education. Eighty-four percent want to see the state legislature enact a law requiring all charter schools to meet the same state standards that traditional public schools must follow. They also don’t want future charter schools to be managed by for-profit companies and 88 percent want legislation mandating for-profit charter schools companies to publicly report employee salaries, as well as school operational costs and expenses.
Our WXYZ-TV/Detroit Free Press poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.0 percent. Twenty percent of those sampled responded on their mobile phones.
SEE POLL BELOW:
Based on what you know or have heard or read about student performance in charter schools compared to traditional public schools, do you think charter schools perform better than traditional public schools, worse, or about the same?
Much Better: 9%
Somewhat Better: 21%
Total Better: 30%
About The Same: 34%
Total Worse: 10%
Much Worse: 11%