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A custodian wipes down a hallway doorway at the Mildred Avenue K-8 School building in Boston’s Mattapan and for the reopening of school on July 9, 2020. Photo by David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Polls: most parents want to reopen schools this fall

As the coronavirus lockdown loosens, most parents of school-age children want to reopen schools this fall and say it will be bad for students if they do not.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 57% of American Adults who have children of elementary or secondary school age believe schools in their community should reopen in the fall. Thirty-two percent (32%) disagree, while 11% are undecided.

The survey of 1,000 American Adults was conducted July 19-20, 2020 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

According to another new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs, 68% want to reopen schools with in-person instruction, with at least some adjustments such as masks or social distancing.

The AP-NORC poll also finds about half of parents saying they are at least somewhat concerned about their child losing services like school lunches or counseling because of the pandemic.

Even more say they are worried about their child falling behind academically: 55% are very concerned, with another 21% somewhat concerned.

A majority of parents, 65%, are at least somewhat concerned about their own ability to juggle responsibilities.

Jimmy La Londe of Hiawassee, Georgia, thinks schools should reopen with safety measures that local officials think are necessary. La Londe said keeping schools closed will only hurt students and anger taxpayers.

“They have to keep the momentum, they have to keep people used to going to school,” he said. “I don’t think you can stop school forever.”

President Donald Trump agrees with the polls and thinks communities should reopen schools.

“I would like to see the schools open,” he told reporters.

The Trump administration also has argued that it’s not just about academics. Students need access to meal programs and mental health services, it says.

–Lee Hartman | Metro Voice