Parents Overwhelmingly Support Educational Relief Funding for Families.
Concerns Over Children’s Social Interactions, Mental Health and Wellbeing Continue to Climb.
Boston, MA— Four-in-ten parents will not commit to having their children vaccinated when the vaccines become available, according to a new poll released today by the National Parents Union. The survey found 22% said they will not get their kids vaccinated and another 18% were unsure. The main reasons parents reported for not vaccinating their children included uncertainty around the safety of the vaccine, a belief that the vaccine was developed too quickly, and distrust regarding the information being published about the vaccine. Meanwhile, nearly half of all parents (47%) says public school teachers should be required to get the vaccine.
“There is a serious trust deficit in this country that’s now playing out with the COVID-19 vaccine,” said Keri Rodrigues, co-founder and president of the National Parents Union. “Public confidence in institutions continues to fall and the onus needs to be on our leaders to do a better job talking to parents and not projecting upon them. Communication throughout the pandemic has been a crisis on its own and so it’s no surprise that parents remain unconvinced about the safety of the vaccine. As always, we need to bring together diverse voices so that questions can be answered, and concerns assuaged.”
An overwhelming majority of parents (85%) support the government providing education relief funding to all K-12 public school families to help them address learning challenges that their children may be facing as a result of the COVID-19 situation. In fact, a majority, 53%, strongly support this. This coincides with other findings in the poll, including, more than four-in-ten parents said they would want to hire someone to provide additional instruction to their child if they had the resources. And a third of parents whose children are not in a learning pod said they would want their children to participate if they could afford it. Learning pods overall received high scores among the 15% of families who are participating, with 88% saying it’s been helpful.
Rodrigues continued, “It should not be a controversial opinion that education funding should flow to EDUCATION. And now that parents are shouldering a disproportionate amount of the educating, they should be given the necessary resources and tools. For too long, education has been viewed through the lens of physical school buildings. This pandemic has upended that, and if families are going to play a larger role in filling the education void, then they should be afforded necessary funding. Bureaucrats and special interests cannot have it both ways by hoarding all the money AND refusing to deliver a functioning, if not high-quality, education experience for our children.”
The survey also showed an upward trend in concerns over mental health and wellbeing. 69% of parents are concerned that their kids are missing important social interactions at school or with friends, up from 58% last April. In addition, 65% are worried about how the current environment is affecting their children’s mental health and emotional wellbeing, up from 50% last April. Yet, only a third of parents say their child’s school is currently offering services to support students’ mental health and emotional wellbeing.
The poll also found that 75% of parents support changing laws to establish a right to quality public education as a civil right in the same way that the right to vote is, meaning the government would be obligated by law to provide every child access to a quality education, and that the government could be challenged in court if that right is infringed upon. Just 11% oppose this.
Additional issues including learning loss, testing, and school performance were also surveyed. Full toplines and crosstabs can be found here:
1,001 parents of K-12 public school students