A majority of Oregon voters think public K-12 education is heading in the wrong direction and would prefer to see tax dollars follow students, according to a new poll provided exclusively to The Daily Wire.
About 55% of Oregon voters said they believe Oregon’s public K-12 education system is “headed in the wrong direction,” while only 16% said they think it’s on the “right track,” according to the poll commissioned by the grassroots group Oregon Moms Union.
An even bigger majority, nearly 73%, said they generally support school choice, which lets parents use the tax dollars designated for their child’s education to send their child to the public school or private school of their choice. About 56% said they strongly support school choice, and nearly 17% said they somewhat support it. Only 24% of Oregonians said they oppose school choice, and less than 17% said they strongly oppose it.
“Oregonians are demanding more options for parents and kids. It’s time politicians began to listen to the choices of parents instead of imposing their own will on students,” MacKensey Pulliam, president and co-founder of Oregon Moms Union told The Daily Wire.
A majority, 57%, also said they support school vouchers, which help parents pay to send their child to a private school rather than a public school. Only 35% said they oppose school vouchers.
About 70% said they support open enrollment, which allows parents to send their child to the public school of their choice, even if the school is not in their district. Oregon allowed open enrollment from 2012 to 2019, but it is now illegal. Less than 22% said they oppose open enrollment.
A majority, 63%, also said they support taxpayer-funded education savings accounts, which help parents pay for their child’s education expenses such as private tutoring or textbooks.
Majorities also said they would support legislation to give parents more school choice and eliminate virtual charter school caps.
A majority, 54%, said they agreed with the statement, “School choice strengthens our education system because it allows parents and students to choose the education that best serves their needs.” Less than 33% said they agreed with the statement, “School choice weakens our education system because it potentially takes money out of local public schools that are already struggling.”
The poll surveyed 727 Oregon voters in early June and has a 3.6% margin of error. It was conducted by Oregon-based public opinion survey research firm Nelson Research.
Oregon has received backlash from parents for adopting progressive policies in its K-12 public schools over the last several years.
Oregon’s state education board adopted updated health education standards in 2016 requiring kindergarteners and first-graders to come up with examples of “how friends and family influence how people think they should act on the basis of their gender.”
In second grade, children in Oregon are taught how to “recognize differences and similarities of how individuals identify regarding gender,” and in third grade, the kids must be able to “define sexual orientation.”
Meanwhile, the “Menstrual Dignity Act,” which was passed last year by the Democrat-controlled Oregon legislature and signed by Governor Kate Brown, requires that all Oregon public schools provide free menstrual products like tampons and pads in boys and all-gender restrooms by the end of the upcoming school year, including at elementary schools.
Earlier this year, the Oregon Moms Union called out an elementary school in the North Clackamas School District, saying the school gave fifth graders a lesson about gender identity that included a graphic called the “Genderbread Person” without getting parents’ permission.