October 1, 2019

New Poll of Newark Voters Shows Strong Support for School Improvement

By New Jersey Children’s Foundation

According to a new poll from Change Research and the New Jersey Children’s Foundation, Newark voters strongly support many of the improvements that have taken place in the City, and want to see more of them. This poll builds on the New Baseline report released by MarGrady Research and the New Jersey Children’s Foundation this spring, which showed significant improvement made in Newark’s public schools (both district and charter) from 2006-2018. Data from the Change Research poll builds on this research, proving that not only are Newark’s changes delivering a better quality school system for students, but Newarkers are largely supportive of many of these changes and recognize they have been beneficial to families.

Key findings from the poll include:

  • Newarkers want more quality school options. Nearly 90% of Newark voters agree (with two-thirds of all voters in strong agreement) that families should have even more quality school options, including public charter schools.
  • Newarkers strongly support public charter schools. 63% of voters see public charter schools as an important part of the city’s public school landscape. Support for public charter schools is fueled by families, demonstrated by the positive responses of 68% of women, 68% of African American voters and 68% of voters with a child or children enrolled in grades K-12.
  • Newarkers strongly support universal enrollment. 87% of voters believe parents should be able to choose the best public school for their children in the same enrollment system, including public charter schools.
  • Newarkers believe their public schools are improving. 38% of voters feel that there are more quality schools available to families in 2019, compared with just 21% who believe there are fewer. This support is felt most strongly among 18-34 year old voters, who are most likely to have experienced Newark’s school improvement firsthand, and African-American voters.
  • Three issues stand out as top-tier concerns for Newarkers: lack of funding (46%), school performance (“Poor performance” at 39% and “Not enough great schools” at 33%), and school safety (36%).