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US Parents Want In-person Learning Despite Rise in Covid-19 Cases

Results of a new survey show that the overwhelming majority of parents in the US want students to return to in-person learning for the new academic year.

89% of parents that responded to the survey planned to send their children back to school for in-person learning. That figure is up from 84% in May, according to the findings of the study, which was conducted by the Rand Corp., a non-profit research organization, and published by the Rockefeller Foundation on Wednesday.

Interestingly, this sentiment is shared among parents across all races and ethnic backgrounds, and grew despite the sharp spike in Covid-19 cases throughout July (when the survey was conducted) as the delta variant spread across the United States.

Although the vast majority of parents said they were planning to send their kids back to school this fall, the survey provided some insight into how the pandemic has affected minorities and their communities. 94% of white parents were getting ready to have their kids go back to in-person learning this fall compared to 82% of black and 93% of hispanic parents.

Another interesting insight revealed by the survey: parents with children who are under the age of 12, and thus ineligible for vaccination, also claimed to be planning for in-person learning in fall.

Heather Schwartz, director of pre-kindergarten to 12 education systems program at Rand and a co-author of the study, admits to being surprised at the sudden uptick in favor of in-person learning. “Somewhere between May and July, undecided parents had swung in favor of sending their kids in person,” Schwartz told US News.

When asked by the research team why parents wanted their children to go back to school this upcoming academic year, they said their children didn’t perform as well socially or academically when taking remote lessons from home compared to in-person classes. Parents also said that their children were clamoring to get back to school.

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