Schools are starting new academic years, and Americans are following the news about school reopenings almost as closely as news about the virus itself. For many families, schooling and childcare plans are a lynchpin to their day-to-day well-being and financial security. Parents need options and a reliable plan so they can support their children and maintain their jobs.
According to the latest round of SPN’s and Heart+Mind Strategies’ coronavirus polling, conducted on August 5-6, 52 percent of Americans said they think a return to normal isn’t possible until school and childcare services resume. It’s no wonder, then, that the number of parents considering changes for the 2020-2021 school year is on the rise.
Parents responding to the poll indicated timeframes they are considering for letting their child return to school or daycare:
Parents also indicated how their school systems are approaching the 2020-2021 school year, revealing that most systems will embrace a hybrid of in-person instructions and online learning.
Distance learning options for high-risk students are still important to many parents (88%) but were less important in this poll than they were two weeks (-5% from July 22-23).
As parents look to options outside of traditional public schools, they are showing some support for policies states can enact to support families and students.
Support is up for tax credits for parents who have left the public school system (83%, +5% from July 22-23).
Fifty percent of Americans support providing public funding to students who have had to leave the public school system to find other education options during the pandemic. This approach is highly appealing to who have children at home (63% support it). Republicans are more supportive than Democrats, but not by an extreme margin (60% to 50% respectively).