Poll finds ‘strong’ charter school support among Atlanta’s black voters

Enrollment in Atlanta Public Schools’ 18 charter schools is leveling off as the schools approach their enrollment caps. About 18 percent of APS students attend a district-authorized charter school. AJC FILE PHOTO: TAYLOR CARPENTER / TAYLOR.CARPENTER@AJC.COM
Enrollment in Atlanta Public Schools’ 18 charter schools is leveling off as the schools approach their enrollment caps. About 18 percent of APS students attend a district-authorized charter school. AJC FILE PHOTO: TAYLOR CARPENTER / TAYLOR.CARPENTER@AJC.COM

A poll of African-American voters in Atlanta found strong support for charter schools.

The poll was commissioned by Education Reform Now Advocacy, which is affiliated with the pro-charter school group Democrats for Education Reform.

The group released the poll this week, timed for the Democratic presidential candidates debate in Atlanta on Wednesday.

The poll of 329 African-American voters in Atlanta found that 83% supported providing “more choice in the public school system” including charter and magnet schools and career academies.

Just over half of the respondents said they viewed Atlanta’s charter schools favorably, while 20% said their opinion was unfavorable and 26% said they were not sure.

A majority of respondents also said that access to charter schools should be expanded but it should come with “tougher accountability rules.”

Atlanta Public Schools authorizes 18 charter schools. Those schools enrolled 9,467 students as of October, 2018, or about 18% of the district's total enrollment.

The poll, conducted by Public Policy Polling, has a margin of error of 5.4%.