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48% of voters say charter schools provide better education

November 17, 2011 |  1:12 pm

Photo: Jason Espinoza, 10, (right) enjoying class at Celerity Nascent Charter School in Los Angeles. Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

Nearly half of California's registered voters believe charter schools provide a better education than traditional public schools, a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll has found.

The bipartisan poll, conducted by USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and The Times, found that 48% gave superior marks to these independently run, publicly financed campuses versus 24% who believe traditional schools are better.

That’s likely to be welcome news for charter operators and frustrating for critics, who say they worry that charter schools take public and philanthropic funds and some of the better students from traditional public schools.

California has more charter schools than any other state, and more operate within the Los Angeles Unified School District than in any other system in the nation.

The poll's complete findings on charter schools will be released in coming days.

The poll questioned 1,500 registered California voters Oct. 30-Nov. 9. It was conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, a Democratic firm, and American Viewpoint, a Republican company. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 2.52 percentage points.

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-- Howard Blume 

Photo: Jason Espinoza, 10, right, enjoys class at Celerity Nascent Charter School in Los Angeles. Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

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