As students across the country return to school, Resonate examined attitudes toward one of voters’ top, and often overlooked, priorities: Education reform.

Nearly half of all online consumers (44%) report “improving education” is a top issue driving their vote decision; only “job creation” is a stronger driver.

Interestingly near identical proportions of those with children under 18 (47%) and those with no children (46%) report they vote on the issue.

Not surprisingly improving education is particularly important to current students. Among students 18 or older who do not have children of their own 61% report voting on the issue, topping all other issues including job creation. Similarly half of singles without children (50%) vote on the issue. Education reform is also particularly salient to African-Americans and Latinos with majorities of each (56% and 50% respectively) voting on that issue.

Despite being a strong vote driver, most are divided on specific policy prescriptions to improve education. Indeed even among those voting on this issue, a majority (58%) remain persuadable on one of the most-debated policy reforms: public funding for charter schools.

As many states and localities look at this policy prescription, supporters of public funding for charter schools may be better positioned to mobilize their base. Supporters of public funding for charters are 67% more likely to be super-advocates for issues important to them. (Super-advocates are defined as those who take the most action on behalf of an issue, i.e. sign a petition, contribute money, or contact a politician etc). Meanwhile, opponents to public charter school funding are 22% less likely to be super-advocates.

With education top of mind for so many the ability to mobilize advocates on either side of specific reforms will become increasingly important.