Why parents could be the new swing voters

New polling released today by a top national charter school booster says education is now a more important political issue to parents and guardians of school-age children than it was in the past.

In all, 83 percent of voting parents said education is more important to them. The trend was especially apparent among Black parents and parents of children with special needs, according to the national survey of roughly 5,000 parents conducted May 19–31 by The Harris Poll on behalf of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.

Voters’ education concerns traditionally take a backseat to economic and healthcare-related issues, particularly in federal races, even as school-centered worries grow in importance. Yet the latest poll also hints that voting parents have a significant interest in casting ballots for someone outside their own political party, as long as they agree with that candidate’s education platform. The pollster concluded parent willingness to vote for someone outside their party was high for all political affiliations but particularly strong among independent voters.