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42% of Parents Worry COVID-19 Will Affect Child's Education
Education

42% of Parents Worry COVID-19 Will Affect Child's Education

42% of Parents Worry COVID-19 Will Affect Child's Education

Story Highlights

  • 70% say child is in an online distance learning program run by their school
  • 42% of parents are concerned about negative impact on child's education
  • 27% say school year should be extended into the summer

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- With the novel coronavirus pandemic forcing the closure of nearly all U.S. schools, administrators, educators and parents across the country are facing the challenge of finding a way for learning to continue. Seven in 10 parents of K-12 students who are currently not in school report that their child is participating in an online distance learning program being run by the public or private school they attend. A quarter of these parents (26%) are home schooling using a curriculum they have selected, while 16% are using an informal, free online learning program not associated with their school and 6% are using a formal, paid private learning program not associated with their school. Eleven percent of parents of K-12 students who are currently not in school say their child is not getting any type of education.

Parents' Reported Education Sources for K-12 Students During COVID-19 Closures
Are you using any of the following for your child's education right now? (Select all that apply)
% Yes
An online distance learning program from their school 70
Being home-schooled with materials you have selected 26
An informal, free online learning program not associated with their school 16
A formal, paid private learning program not associated with their school 6
None of these 11
Among U.S. parents of K-12 students whose schools are currently closed to in-person attendance
GALLUP, March 24-29, 2020

Seventeen percent of those whose children have formal online distance learning programs are supplementing that with materials they've chosen themselves, and 11% are doing so with a free online learning program not associated with their school. Meanwhile, among parents whose children do not have a formal online distance learning program, 52% are home schooling with their own materials, 25% are using a free online learning program not associated with their child's school, and 35% are not having their child participate in any education at this time.

These data are from an online, probability-based Gallup Panel survey conducted March 24-29. Most governors have closed the schools in their states -- and where it hasn't been mandated statewide, local officials have closed them. Additionally, many districts have already said they will not reopen schools for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.

Parents' Concerns About COVID-19 Impact on Education

This unprecedented situation has many parents apprehensive about the pandemic's negative impact on their child's education -- 15% are very concerned, and 27% are moderately concerned. Still, 33% say they are not too concerned, and 26% are not concerned at all.

Many Parents of K-12 Students Concerned About Child's Education
How concerned are you that the coronavirus situation will have a negative impact on your child's education?
Parents of K-12 students
%
Very concerned 15
Moderately concerned 27
Not too concerned 33
Not concerned at all 26
GALLUP, March 24-29, 2020

Several subgroups of parents are more concerned than others -- nonwhites (52%) are more concerned than whites (36%), and Democrats (49%) are more concerned than Republicans (31%).

Parents' Preference for the Remainder of the School Year

Despite their concerns, most parents do not favor extending the school year into the summer if schools are closed for the remainder of this school year. Instead, 48% say students who complete a formal distance learning program should be able to advance to the next grade in the fall, while 22% think students should advance regardless of what schoolwork they complete and 27% say the school year should be extended into the summer.

Parents' Preference for the Remainder of the School Year
Suppose schools closed for the rest of the school year because of the coronavirus. Should they ...
Parents of K-12 students
%
Extend the school year into the summer months 27
Not extend the school year; promote students if formal distance learning program completed 48
Not extend the school year; promote students whether or not formal distance learning program completed 22
Not extend the school year; have students repeat their current grade 2
GALLUP, March 24-29, 2020

Nonwhite parents (39%) are nearly twice as likely as whites (21%) to say school should be extended into the summer months, and parents who have graduated from college (32%) are more likely than those who haven't (24%) to say the same. Likewise, those who don't work outside the home (33%) are more likely than those who do (25%) to prefer extending school into the summer.

Learn more about how the Gallup Panel works.


Gallup https://news.gallup.com/poll/305819/parents-worry-covid-affect-child-education.aspx
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