Americans generally support school choice programs, according to a new survey sponsored by the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice.

The survey shows that more Americans would rather send their children to private schools than regular public schools. Also, more Americans view charter schools and school vouchers favorably than oppose them.

One question was, "If it were your decision and you could select any type of school, what type of school would you select in order to obtain the best education for your child?" Forty-one percent said they'd prefer a private school, while regular public schools received 36 percent.

Forty-two percent of survey respondents said they have a favorable opinion charter schools, with half as many opposed.

"School vouchers," long thought of as a toxic phrase in school choice discussions, had 39 percent in favor, with 25 percent opposed.

Favorability for both vouchers and charters rose after the interviewer provided a definition of each and asked again whether the respondent favored or opposed each concept.

Education ranked second when survey respondents were asked what the most important issue facing the country is. "Economy and Jobs" received 31 percent to education's 17 percent.

Only two percent said the federal government does an "excellent" job of handing K-12 education, with "good" receiving an additional 18 percent. Seventy-seven percent said the government does a "fair" or "poor" job handling K-12 education.

The survey, conducted by Braun Research, Inc., included responses from 1,002 participants, and has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.