September 14, 2020

New Education-Focused Poll of Likely Voters in Rural Kentucky:
In-School Options and Educational Choice Highly Favored

Amidst COVID-19 fallout, 62% of likely voters want some form of in-person or hybrid learning educational options for students

Frankfort, Ky. (September 14, 2020) – Following drastic changes in education throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, a recent poll found that 62% of likely rural voters want some form of in-person or hybrid learning educational options for students. The poll also delivered a significant boost for Kentucky parents seeking more options for their children’s education, showing 77% of likely general election voters in rural Kentucky favor educational choice. 
The poll, conducted by Washington-based polling firm CYGNAL between August 21-23, 2020, surveyed 620 likely rural voters from KY Congressional Districts 1, 2, 4, and 5.
COVID-19 Specific Findings:

  • 62% of likely rural voters want some form of in-person educational options for students.
  • Only 39% of likely rural voters believe they have adequate education options this fall.
  • Rural voters were asked if they were more likely to support Education Opportunity Accounts because of COVID-19: 52% said yes; only 19% are less likely. 

Additional Poll Highlights Include:

  • 77% of likely rural voters support educational choice.
  • 53% of likely rural voters support Education Opportunity Accounts as a tool for change and only 25% oppose them.
  • Scholarship Tax Credits retained 53% support among likely rural voters and only 29% opposition.
  • 57% of likely rural voters support both public schools and educational choice.
  • 46% of voters disapprove of the Kentucky General Assembly’s handling of education issues; only 28% approve.
  • 73% of voters believe our schools need significant change.

Full results of the poll, including Congressional District breakdowns, are available here.
“The uncertainty of this year has underscored a critical need Kentucky has for too long left unmet—addressing the severe lack of educational opportunity for families across the state,” said Sen. Ralph Alvarado. “Options in education are an increasing necessity for urban and rural Kentuckians alike, and Education Opportunity Accounts are a commonsense solution that will help families in need provide their children with incredible education opportunities while simultaneously saving taxpayers money. No matter their ethnicity, zip code or socio-economic status, Kentucky families deserve opportunities in education. EOAs are a win-win for families and taxpayers, and must be a priority in 2021.”
The education landscape has changed dramatically in recent years and this poll highlights that parents want more options to help their children succeed.  Sadly, COVID-19 has exposed the lack of existing educational choices for both rural and urban Kentuckians.  
In order to finally give families the options that they deserve, EdChoice Kentucky is supporting a new proposal called Education Opportunity Accounts (EOAs). 
Past polls showed that Kentucky voters, no matter their party affiliation or geographic location, support educational choice, and yet some rural legislators continue to block educational choice proposals, citing that their constituents don’t support educational choice,” remarked EdChoice Kentucky President Charles Leis. “So, we aimed to set the record straight with this poll, and rural Kentuckians spoke loud and clear — they overwhelmingly support educational choice. Education Opportunity Accounts are a popular option to give more families the education flexibility they need.”
Under an EOA program, funds are deposited into an account that can be used to pay for the education that best suits a family’s children—including career and technical training, public and non-public K-12 school tuition or fees, homeschool and virtual school, special needs education, or therapies from an array of public and non-public providers or tutors.  EOAs rely solely on private donations and would support students from every part of the state.  
“Rural Kentucky is my home, and as the principal of Somerset Christian School, I have met repeatedly with rural families seeking additional education options for their children,” said John Hale, Somerset Christian School principal and EdChoice KY board member. “SCS has helped provide these educational options to many families in this community for decades, but I know we could do even more if financial barriers didn’t stand in the way. Rural families and taxpayers overwhelmingly support and deserve options for their children’s education, and Education Opportunity Accounts is the solution we have been waiting for.”
For more information on Education Opportunity Accounts, visit


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