Who is Afraid of School Choice?
This study uses survey data to investigate attitudes among Swiss voters to different models offering more freedom of choice in the educational system. The findings indicate clear opposition to the use of taxpayer money to fund private schools, while free choice between public schools seems to appeal to a majority. The analyses show that the approval-opposition heterogeneity is mainly based on an explicable, rational calculation of personal utility. Approval rates are much higher among groups or individuals who see a personal advantage in more school choice, such as parents of school-age children, urban/metropolitan area residents and those on a low income. In contrast, residents of small to medium-sized centers of population, high-income groups, and individuals with a teaching qualification oppose more school choice. The analyses also indicate differences between the country’s language regions, attributable to intercultural differences in what people consider the state’s role to be.
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