Do parents of children in private school and home schools in middle Tennessee consider charter schools to be an acceptable alternative to private school and/or home schooling?
Tennessee, like one-half of America's other states, has no charter schools. Charter schools are growing in numbers, and President Clinton wants all states to pass charter school legislation. The governor of Tennessee, Don Sundquist, favors charter schools and is working with the legislative body to pass a bill in 1998 that will make charter school legal. This study compares data collected from parents of home school and private school children to see if they would consider charter schools over their present educational setting.^ Four major objectives guided this research: (1) the development of a demographic profile of the parents that home school or send their children to a private school, (2) what are the reasons those parents are choosing a different educational setting, (3) after being given a description of charter schools, which one would they prefer, if any, and (4) after choosing the charter school they like best, would they choose a charter school over their current choice of educational setting for their child or children?^ Five questions were exploring if the race, age, income, education level, or the presence of special needs children made a difference in the decision of choosing charter schools over the current educational setting. Four were found to be no but the first question had significance where $p < .05$. The only one found significant was the race of the respondents.^ Racial proportions were similar in the respondents, Caucasians were the majority of the respondents, 76.8% home school and 84.9% private school parents. The largest age range for home school group was ages between 25 and 35 with 40%. For private school respondents, it was the 35 to 45 age group at 46.2%. The parents of home school students made more money (35.2% make more than $50,000 per year) compared to private school parents (16.0\% make more than \$50,000 per year). Home school parents obtained a higher degree of education than did private school parents responding to the survey. Would parents prefer a charter school over their current educational setting, if given a choice? Of the 840 respondents, 68.7% said no, 21.1% said yes, and 10.2% were undecided. ^
Sociology, Individual and Family Studies|Education, Curriculum and Instruction
Joseph Glenn Phillips,
"Do parents of children in private school and home schools in middle Tennessee consider charter schools to be an acceptable alternative to private school and/or home schooling?"
ETD Collection for Tennessee State University.