New Polls on In-Person Classes During Pandemic

July 23, 2020

Parents with children who normally attend school prefer that schools wait to restart in-person classes to reduce infection risk (60%) rather than open sooner so parents can work and students can return to the classroom (34%), according to the latest Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) tracking poll. Parents of color (76%) are even more likely than white parents (51%) to prefer that schools wait to return to in-person classes. The poll also finds that there is a major partisan divide – with 87% of Democrats and 59% of independents preferring schools open later while 60% of Republicans prefer that schools open sooner.

The KFF survey also indicates that the pandemic is increasingly taking an emotional toll, with a majority of U.S. adults (53%) saying that worry and stress related to coronavirus has had a negative impact on their mental health, up from 39% in May.

Meanwhile, a new poll from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs finds only about 1 in 10 Americans think daycare centers, preschools or K-12 schools should open this fall without restrictions. Most think mask requirements and other safety measures are necessary to restart in-person instruction. Roughly 3 in 10 say that teaching children in classrooms should not happen at all.