Most Parents Plan to Send Children to In-Person Learning, Despite COVID-19
Survey revealed racial gap between parents' preferences and safety concerns
MONDAY, Aug, 23, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- While the majority of parents plan to send their children back to school in-person, many remain concerned about COVID-19 safety precautions, according to the results of a survey released on Aug. 18 by the RAND Corporation.
Heather L. Schwartz, Ph.D., from the RAND Corporation, and colleagues conducted a survey of 3,146 parents of school-age children in July 2021 to assess school hesitancy and preferences for COVID-19 safety practices in schools in the United States.
The authors of the survey found that 89 percent of parents planned to send their children to school in person in fall 2021, which was an increase from 84 percent in May. There were differences in plans by race, with 82 percent of Black and 83 percent of Hispanic parents planning to send their children to school in person in fall 2021 versus 94 percent of White and 88 percent of Asian parents. Age of the child did not influence parents' responses. Fewer White parents were concerned about safety practices than Black, Hispanic, and Asian parents. Just over half of parents overall (57 percent) planned to get their child vaccinated for COVID-19, with rates varying by parents' vaccination status (79 percent of vaccinated parents and 10 percent of unvaccinated parents).
"To feel safe sending their children to school in-person, most parents -- especially those still unsure about in-person schooling -- want classroom ventilation, teachers to be vaccinated, and social distancing in schools, in that order," Schwartz said in a statement. "School principals are the source that the greatest number of parents trust for information about school safety practices."