New Poll:

Mask up! Majority of parents want masks to be mandatory in schools


Poll also finds just half of all parents say their child’s school has developed a plan to address their learning needs and make up for what they may have missed.

Boston, MA—A new poll released today by the National Parents Union found that 70% of parents say masks should be required for everyone in public schools including students, teachers and staff. The survey found a significant difference between Republicans and Democrats as 87% of parents who identify as Democrats agree with the mask mandate whereas only 45% of Republican parents agree.

On the issue of vaccines, 59% of parents say schools should require them for teachers and staff and 52% want them required for students.

Two-thirds of parents say they plan to get their children under 12 vaccinated, while only 20% say they will not and 14% remain unsure.For kids over 12, 74% of parents say they have already or plan to have their children vaccinated while 18% will not and only 7% remain unsure.

“The health and safety of our kids goes hand-in-hand with our fight for education equity,”said Keri Rodrigues, President and co-founder of the National Parents Union. “Parents are making their voices heard not only on ways to improve education in the classroom, but also on public policy that impacts their children. This should be a welcomed development that demonstrates parent power can no longer be ignored. We’re going to have a seat at the table like it or not.”

Learning Loss & Staying on Track

Only half of all parents say their child’s school has developed a plan to meet their learning needs and make up for what they may have missed in those areas.

67% of parents say they remain concerned about their child staying on track in school.

Mental Health Worries


65% are concerned about the effect of the pandemic on their child’s mental health and yet, only 4 in 10 parents confirmed that their school is offering mental health services/resources.

Rethinking Education

60% of parents think schools should be focused on rethinking how students are educated, coming up with new ways to teach children rather than going back to the way things were prior to the pandemic.

55% of parents want statewide academic tests to be administered this school year.

School Violence


53% of parents are very or somewhat concerned with their child being affected by violence at their school this year (only 20% are not concerned at all).

Parents Want Options

70% of parents want schools to offer multiple ways for students to attend school and allow parents to decide if their child does in-person, remote/online or hybrid learning.

77% of parents say that their child is in school only in-person this September; 9% say their child is attending only remotely/online; and 14% have their child in a hybrid situation.

Grading Biden


A majority of parents continue to approve (strongly/somewhat approve) of President Biden’s COVID response. 61% approve of the public health response.


61% approve of the economic recovery.


68% approve of the reopening of public schools for in-person learning.


58% approve of the public education response to COVID-19’s impacts on student learning.

Last week, the National Parents Union unveiled data from the poll that showed only 46% of parents have heard about the funding that schools are receiving from the federal government and how those funds can be used. Just 21% of parents say their children’s schools have asked parents to give input on how these additional funds should be used. For lower income families, whose household income is less than $50,000, only 17% say they’ve been asked for feedback.

In addition to most families not being asked for input, 56% of parents say they have not seen or heard anything about additional resources beingused in their child’s school or classroom to address challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

To address the awareness and engagement gap, the National Parents Union is launching the Everyday Parents Impacting Change (EPIC) campaign, which will:

  • Demand transparency from federal, state and local elected officials
  • Ensure that school boards/districts are authentically engaging families in the decision-making process at every turn
  • Verify that funding is spent on student-centered investments that are rooted in access and equity for children who need it the most

Survey of N=1,006 parents of public school students in grades kindergarten through 12th grade.

Field Dates: September 9-13, 2021