Tennesseans are split on school vouchers, an MTSU poll finds, with 46 percent opposed to Gov. Bill Haslam's plan to use state funds at private schools. Forty percent support it and, given the poll's four percent margin of error, it is considered a "statistical dead heat" by the poll's director.
“Statewide, it’s too close to call,” said Ken Blake, director of the poll. “Opponents of the plan outnumbered supporters in our sample, but it’s unclear whether the same is true among all Tennesseans. They appear evenly, or nearly evenly, divided.”
When race is considered, however, the divisions become more pronounced. Sixty three percent of minorities favor vouchers, which would be targeted at poor children, while only 37 percent of whites favor the plan.
Perceptions of school quality differed by geography, as well. The counties surrounding Davidson, on average, gave their schools a "B" average while Metro Nashville residents rated their schools as only a "C."
The poll was conducted Feb. 11-19 by telephone and interviewed 650 randomly selected Tennessee adults.