Will We Listen to Parents? | Beaufort County Now | If coronavirus were not enough, parents are starting to get increasingly uneasy about how their children will be educated this fall. | civitas, listening to parents, coronavirus, covid-19, schools, classes, reopening, june 25, 2020

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Will We Listen to Parents?

Publisher's note: This post, by Bob Luebke, was originally published in Civitas's online edition.

    If coronavirus were not enough, parents are starting to get increasingly uneasy about how their children will be educated this fall.

    On Wednesday morning a Politico-Morning/Consult Poll found a combined 54 percent of American voters said they were uncomfortable with reopening K-12 schools for the fall.

    Here it Wake County a recent survey confirmed the growing apprehension.

    A survey of about 25,000 Wake County Parents had some interesting findings.

  • 54 percent - said they were either "hesitant and concerned" (30 percent), "extremely uncomfortable" (16 percent) or unwilling to "send my child to school until there is a vaccine and/or treatment" (8 percent).
  • 43 percent of parents who said they do not plan on using the bus to transport their child to and from school.
  • When given the chance to choose their own learning model for this fall 35 percent of parents choose "Back in school Building"; 35 percent choose "A blended school/home model"; 22 percent chose "fully online model" while 8 percent were "not sure"

    Parental unease no doubt was a factor in WCPSS's decision to create this fall an online option for families

    My guess is what parents are feeling in Wake County is representative of what parents are feeling across North Carolina. All parents across the state have concerns about their child's safety and learning environment. What varies however, is ability of parents to meet some of those needs. It is abundantly clear that families that reside in larger metropolitan areas generally have jobs where it is easier to transition to working remotely. Such options are in short supply in many rural counties. As such should Gov. Cooper open schools via a hybrid or remote learning option, that will disproportionally impact families in rural areas.

    My colleague Dallas Woodhouse has written persuasively about the problems with the Governor's reopening plans. He has also heard from parents and teachers who believe those plans are simply not workable.

    Governor Cooper said has said he will make announcement regarding the reopening of school on July 1.

    Parents know best the needs of their children and are the most effective champions for their children.

    If Cooper wants a successful policy to reopen schools, he will heed these concerns and he will allow parents to make good educational decisions for their children.

    If not, he will hear from even more parents and schools and coronavirus will likely become an even larger problem than it already is.


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