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Published 06/26/2020 | Reading Time 4 min 39 sec 

NATIONAL — Parents worries over how COVID-19 is affecting their children’s mental health reached its highest levels according to a new poll released today by the National Parents Union (NPU). Since early May, NPU has been tracking various concerns parents have related to the pandemic, and today’s survey found 56% of parents are worried a lot or some about coronavirus on their kids’ mental health and emotional well-being, up from 45% the week prior. 

Parents are also increasingly worried about their own mental health and well-being according to the poll. More than half (52%) are concerned, marking the first time that number hit 50% since the question was introduced in the weekly survey. 

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What has remained consistent over the past two months is that a majority of parents say schools should focus on rethinking how they educate students, and schools should come up with new ways to teach as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. In this latest survey, 63% of parents agree with that view whereas only 32% say schools should focus on trying to get back to the way things were. Answers to this question, which has been asked the previous six weeks, have ranged from 57-65% calling for a reimagination of education and 31-37% saying school should revert to the status quo. 

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Keri Rodrigues, co-founder and president of the National Parents Union, explained the significance of these findings, “If there is one positive that has come from this crisis, it’s that parents are more engaged in their child’s education than ever before. That spells trouble for the bureaucrats and obstructionists, and their enablers, who have preyed on unsuspecting parents and controlled information flow to protect their power. The days of pulling wool over our eyes are over. A revolution is coming—one that eradicates generational oppression and secures what we are all fighting for, a high-quality education for every child in America.” The poll also found that nearly 4-in-10 parents say a publicly-available vaccine would be necessary for them to feel safe sending their children back to school. Half of all parents say schools must require students and staff members who may have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 to stay home for 14 days before returning to school. 

On the issue of how coronavirus has affected schoolwork, non-White parents and White parents have different views. 

Non-White parents are far more likely to believe their children might have fallen behind and need additional instruction next school year to make up for a learning deficit. Among White parents, 41% say their child will not need additional instruction, whereas just 28% of non-white parents agree with that sentiment. 

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In specific curriculum areas, non-white parents singled out English/Language Arts/Reading/Writing as a concern, with 4-in-10 saying their kids have fallen behind compared to 24% of White parents who feel the same. In math, the difference is not as profound, 39% non-White vs. 34% White.

Survey of N=500 parents of public school students in grades kindergarten through 12th grade

Sampled from online web panel


The National Parents Union is a network of parent organizations and grassroots activists across the country committed to improving the quality of life for children and families in the United States. NPU unites these organizations behind a common set of principles that put children and families at the center of the national education narrative. With delegates representing each of the 50 states, NPU disrupts the traditional role of parent voice in policy spaces and develops a new narrative that is inclusive of families from a wide variety of intersectional perspectives. 


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