Poll indicates most parents satisfied with COVID-19 school options, but have concerns

Published: Dec. 10, 2020 at 6:15 AM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - The Wason Center for Civic Leadership at Christopher Newport University released findings of a new survey Thursday about COVID-19′s impact on education.

With the unprecedented school year nearly halfway finished, 64% of Virginia parents say they are satisfied with how their child’s classes are being handled during the pandemic. However, 75% say they are concerned about their children falling behind in school.

“Parents are juggling work, caregiving responsibilities, and helping their kids through virtual school,” said Wason Center Research Director Rebecca Bromley-Trujillo. “Most may believe their school systems are doing the best they can, but it’s no surprise that so many are worried about their children’s progress.”

The survey also evaluated what learning models students were using.

Most children, 56% in fact, are receiving online instruction only, 27% are in a hybrid model of instruction, 12% are receiving in-person instruction only and 3% are being homeschooled.

Earlier this year, a sample of the survey asked voters whether public employees should be given the right to bargain collectively. A strong majority (68%) support or strongly support that policy, while 25% are opposed or strongly opposed. A law passed in the 2020 session allows, but does not require, cities, counties, towns and school boards to authorize collective bargaining for local employees, beginning in May. It does not apply to state employees.

When asked to assess the direction of the country, Virginia voters shifted from their previous responses given before the Nov. 3 election. In the Wason Center’s September survey, voters strongly disapproved of the country’s direction (76%-16%). In the latest survey, voters claim the country is headed in the wrong direction, but this time only by 49%-39%. The decrease is almost entirely due to responses from Democrats, whose “wrong direction” assessment went from 97% to 22% after the election.

Voters were evenly divided about the direction of the state, with 48% saying Virginia is headed in the right direction and 47% saying it’s going in the wrong direction. Voters’ assessment of Gov. Ralph Northam’s job performance was likewise evenly split, with 47% approval and 46% disapproval.

The Wason Center interviewed 906 registered Virginia voters between Nov. 8-22. The margin of error for the whole survey is +/-4.7%

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