President Joe Biden has said that he would like a majority of schools to be re-opened by the end of his first 100 days in office. As the United States approaches the one-year mark of most K-12 schools closing to prevent the spread COVID-19, parents of school-age children share the same goal.
Only one in three parents (32%) say their children are learning in-person currently, according to the latest Economist/YouGov poll, but half (51%) of parents want them to be educated in-person.
The Northeast and the West are the geographic regions where remote and hybrid learning is most common. About one in five Northeastern (17%) or Western (18%) parents say their children are learning in-person, compared to the Midwest (40%) and the South (44%), which have the largest percentage of students receiving their education in-person.
Parents prefer in-person learning in all regions, though there are concerns in the Northeast and West about opening schools too soon.
The most common reasons why parents want their children back to in-person learning include wanting peer interaction for their child (64%), concerns about their child learning properly remotely (61%), a desire for normalcy (57%), and wanting their child to have interaction with their teacher (57%). Panelists were allowed to select as many reasons as applied.
Among parents who prefer at-home learning, half (50%) say they have concerns about their child or another family member getting
infected with COVID-19. Four in five (40%) say they have concerns about the safety of the school building related to COVID-19 or that they are waiting for COVID-19 infection rates to lower before allowing their student to return to in-person learning.
Methodology: The Economist survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,500 US Adult Citizens interviewed online between February 27 - March 2, 2021. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the US Bureau of the Census, as well as 2016 Presidential vote, registration status, geographic region, and news interest. Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all US citizens. The margin of error is approximately 2.6% for the overall sample