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Boston, MA—A new parent poll from the National Parents Union found 74% of parents are extremely or very concerned about rising inflation for everyday goods like gas or food and 65% are worried about their children staying on track in school.
Rising inflation and academic challenges represented the top two issues that worried parents the most according to the survey. A majority of parents are also worried about their children’s mental health, kids missing important social interactions, the rising cost of housing, and contracting the coronavirus.
Keri Rodrigues, co-founder and president of the National Parents Union, reacted to the poll by saying, “What this survey shows is that the focus of state legislatures and Congress as well as what gets covered by media does not in any way reflect what parents are actually going through. The weight of the world is on parents’ shoulders right now and it’s unsustainable. American families are being squeezed and are rightfully frustrated by what is going on in the economy and in schools when all we ever wanted was to provide a better quality of life than what we had growing up for our children. It is critical that elected and school leaders find ways to actively listen to and engage parents to find solutions that will ease the strain on American families.”
Besides the concern for rising inflation, the poll also asked parents their thoughts on what should be taught in schools. The survey found schools should be encouraged to:
- Have students read books by authors from a variety of different racial and ethnic backgrounds (60%)
- Teach more U.S. history lessons about historical figures from racial or ethnic groups who may have been left out of lessons in the past (58%)
- Teach about racial inequality in America’s past (53%)
- Teach about racial inequality in America today (52%)
Federal Education Funding
- A majority of parents, 53%, have not seen or heard anything about additional resources in their child’s school or classroom as a result of additional federal funding.
- Sixty-one percent of parents have not been asked by their children’s school to give input or feedback on how the federal funding should be used.
- More than 70% of parents want schools to use the federal funding to prioritize access to mental health, computers and high-speed internet access for students, free breakfast and lunch program, services and support for students with disabilities, providing more flexible options for students to access learning, offering more college preparation, more tutoring opportunities, and hiring more teachers.
Parents Sound Off on Key Topics
- Testing: 62% agree that schools should continue to assess how well students are learning using statewide tests so that we can compare results to previous years and schools can identify areas students may be falling behind or need support.
- Education as a Civil Right: 84% support changing laws to establish a right to quality public education as a civil right in the same way that the right to vote is, meaning the government would be obligated by law to provide every child access to a quality education, and that the government could be challenged in court if that right is infringed upon.
- CROWN Act: 83% support a law that would protect public school students and staff from discrimination based on race-related hair texture or hairstyles, meaning public schools would be required to allow students and staff to wear styles such as braids, dreadlocks, twists, afros, or natural hair.
1,000 parents of K-12 students
Field Dates: March 18-21, 2022
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