Poll from Arkansas State Teachers Association shows support for HB1371

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (March 12, 2020) – In a recent member poll from the Arkansas State Teachers Association (ASTA), a nonunion educator association, 56% of teachers indicated they support HB1371, which would create the Arkansas Child Academic Opportunity Scholarship and Grant Act.

“I think it is a great idea for businesses and the state to work together to support the community,” one response said.

About 24% neither agree or disagree with the proposed program, and only 20% oppose it. Many of the disagree comments reflected a misunderstanding of the bill, according to Michele Linch, ASTA’s executive director. For example, one survey response said, “Tax dollars are not for private or charter schools,” when the program is funded by donations made by individuals and organizations in exchange for tax credits, not by tax revenue. Also, tax dollars already go to charter schools because they are public schools; the program does not have an effect on that.

The poll follows a recently released survey from Cyngal that showed that more than more than half of voters in all eight of the identified House of Representatives districts support tax credits for scholarships. In February, the University of Arkansas Office for Education Policy and EdChoice also released a fiscal impact statement showing a positive benefit of $2.3 million for the state, along with a positive fiscal benefit of $773,00 to public schools, from the private scholarship component of the program.

ABOUT THE ARKANSAS STATE TEACHERS ASSOCIATION: The Arkansas State Teachers Association is the state chapter of the Association of American Educators (AAE), the largest national, nonunion, professional educator organization, advancing the profession by offering a modern approach to educator empowerment and advocacy—promoting professionalism, collaboration, and excellence without a partisan agenda. ASTA-AAE is committed to a teaching profession that is student oriented, well respected, and personally fulfilling. Classroom teachers, paraprofessionals, administrators, student teachers, university professors, support staff, and supporters can learn more at astapro.org.

ABOUT THE REFORM ALLIANCE: The Reform Alliance is a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring every K-12 student in Arkansas has equal access to a world-class education. The Reform Alliance is proud to manage the Succeed Scholarship at no cost to the State of Arkansas. Even small expenses like the cost of mailing checks to schools are paid for by a private foundation grant. Free educational resources and more information about The Reform Alliance are available at thereformalliance.org.