NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED556784
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Feb
Pages: 45
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 36
Local Demand for School Choice: Evidence from the Washington Charter School Referenda. Working Paper #09-01
Corcoran, Sean; Stoddard, Christiana
Institute for Education and Social Policy
Many U.S. states provide public funding for charter schools--deregulated and privately managed schools operating in direct competition with government-run schools. While the impact of charter schools on student achievement and sorting has been intensely studied, less is known about the demand for these alternatives. Using precinct-level returns from three ballot referenda in Washington State, we assess the relative importance of school quality and community characteristics in explaining voter support for charter schools. We find that low student achievement predicts greater charter support across school districts, but is relatively unimportant in explaining variation across precincts within districts. Residents of districts with more highly qualified teachers and greater local spending were less likely to favor charters, as were districts with high teacher union membership. The strongest predictor at all levels was political partisanship: areas with more Republican voters were strongly and consistently more likely to vote in favor of charter schools. An appendix provides: Descriptive statistics, Washington school districts and King County precincts (table).
Institute for Education and Social Policy. New York University, Joseph and Violet Pless Hall, 82 Washington Square East, New York, NY 10003. Tel: 212-998-5880; Fax: 212-995-4564; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Russell Sage Foundation
Authoring Institution: New York University, Institute for Education and Social Policy (IESP)
Identifiers - Location: Washington
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Schools and Staffing Survey (NCES); Washington Assessment of Student Learning