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Most K-12 Parents Don’t Want Full-Time In-Person Classes This Fall

August 4, 2020 by Sara Wilkerson

As schools across the country consider their learning options for the upcoming academic school year, a new Gallup poll says fewer parents favor full-time in-person instruction, suggesting a shift in parental preferences from late May. 

At the end of the last school year in late May and early June, Gallup asked K-12 parents if they preferred full-time in-person instruction, fully remote instruction, or a hybrid of the two options. At the time, 56% of parents said they preferred full-time. Now, 36% have the same opinion. 

For fully remote instruction, preference for this option has increased from 7% to 28%. The hybrid option, meanwhile, has remained steady around 36%. 

The shift in parental preferences comes as Republican leadership advocates for schools to return to full-time in-person instruction this fall. The shift also comes as coronavirus cases in the country have increased in recent months, causing parents to be concerned about their children potentially getting infected from the virus. 

According to Gallup, 64% of parents say they are worried their children will get the coronavirus, while 14% say they are not worried at all. 

For parents worried about their children getting infected, most want fully remote learning (42%) or the hybrid option (44%), showing an increase in the preference for remote learning from 12% in late May. 

For parents not worried about the coronavirus, a 74% majority prefer the full-time in-person option. 

When considering the political alignments of parents, 85% of Democratic parents are more concerned about their children getting the virus whereas 70% of Republican parents are not concerned or worried at all. 

For classroom preferences, 68% of Republicans prefer full-time in-person schooling while Democratic parents are split between going fully remote (41%) and the hybrid model (46%). 

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