State Fair Opinion Poll Results

Fairgoers favor enabling parents to choose the right school for their children

Thousands of people stopped by the House of Representatives booth at the State Fair and voiced their opinion on a dozen policy-related questions covering issues from mask mandates to school choice and much more. The questions were, in many cases, poorly worded by legislative officials who should have been in a better position to describe them appropriately.  Either way, the exercise does show the limitations of polling.

For example, one question asked whether “people without proof of legal residence in the state be allowed to obtain a driver’s license or identification card?” Thirty-two percent answered yes, and almost 58-percent said no. The question could have been asked as follows and support may have increased significantly:

“Should Minnesota better ensure road safety by testing and licensing undocumented immigrants living and working in our state, and also ensuring they won’t be deported for a minor traffic violation?

Similarly, the question posed to fairgoers regarding school choice asked, “Should a school voucher system be established whereby the state issues parents a voucher equal to the state’s cost of educating a child for a year, and parents can then choose the school their child attends, whether public or private?”

Despite using the term “vouchers” rather than education savings accounts (there is no “voucher” bill in front of the legislature), the results are clear that more people favor enabling parents to choose a school that best meets their child’s needs than preserving the status quo.

Irrespective of what is popular, the Minnesota Catholic Conference will continue to both advocate for school choice to ensure that public education dollars follow students and not systems, and to protect immigrant families and public safety proposals that promote the common good.

You can read the full poll results here.