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BOSTON, MA —A new poll released today by the National Parents Union, an education advocacy organization, shows 32% of parents surveyed give President Biden a failing grade for how he’s handled the public education response to the pandemic. Only 18% gave the nation’s leader an “A”. U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona also struggled to receive good grades from parents with 38% giving him an “A” or “B” and 44% saying Secretary Cardona deserves a “C”, “D” or “F”.
Among Independents, President Biden fared particularly poorly with 35% giving him an “F” and just 11% giving him an “A”. Even among Democrats, 9% gave President Biden a failing grade and just a third of parents gave him an “A”.
“This should be a wakeup call for Democrats in 2022. Parents are simply not satisfied with how President Biden and his administration have handled education during the pandemic, and until he puts special interests and politics aside and focuses on families, he’s going to continue to receive this type of report card,” said Keri Rodrigues, Co-founder and President of the National Parents Union. “Supporting families in their quest for a high-quality education should not be controversial. It should be a winning issue that all parties can rally around. Parents have shown they will vote with their feet, moving their children into schools that best fit their needs, and they will vote in elections.”
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NEW PARENT POLL FINDINGS
The new parent poll also found that if schools go remote, only 50% of parents say their children would have a harder time learning. 21% say they would lose income due to having to work fewer hours/shifts. 18% would face childcare challenges. And 13% say they’d lose or have to quit their job. Meanwhile, only 28% of parents reported having no issue with going remote.
Parents are also worried that if a school goes remote due to COVID, it won’t open back up this school year for in-person learning. The poll found 71% of parents share this concern.
Parents also continue to worry about their children staying on track in school (69%) and how COVID is affecting their children’s mental health and emotional wellbeing (64%). These have been two dominant and consistent themes since NPU began polling in April 2020.
FOLLOW THE MONEY- WHAT MONEY?
Despite the federal government distributing $122 billion to the states in the American Rescue Plan ESSER Funds, 51% of parents are still not hearing much or anything about how the additional federal funding for schools is being used. And 55% of respondents haven’t seen or heard anything about their child’s schools receiving additional resources from the funding. A majority of parents (57%) do believe the funds should be used to make bold changes in public education. But only 34% want to return to the status quo.
Last September, the National Parents Union launched a new initiative, Everyday Parents Impacting Change (EPIC), to provide families with resources to help hold school boards accountable for how they spend ARP investments.
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CHILD TAX CREDIT
Asked about the monthly Child Tax Credit payment, 71% of families reported receiving it between July 2021 and December 2021. Nearly half (47%) of parents who reported receiving the payment say losing it will have a major impact on their family’s finances. However, 36% said it would have a minor impact. Only 16% of recipients of the payment said it would have no impact at all.
The majority of respondents support the continued use of statewide academic tests to assess how well students are learning, 58%. However, 35% want schools to take a break so that teachers and students have one less thing to worry about.