Political divide looms over sending kids to school: poll
As President Trump and the White House push for schools to resume full in-person classes this fall, Democrats are more concerned than Republicans about the prospect of their children returning to school or infecting family members.
Democrats are also less likely to say teachers should return to in-person work, according to an Aug. 4-8 Morning Consult-The New York Times poll of 1,081 parents. The poll reported a 3 point margin of error.
Of the subset of respondents who approve of Trump’s performance, 29 percent said they had considered keeping their children home for health or safety reasons. Forty-five percent of parents who disapprove of his performance said the same.
A quarter of parents overall said teachers should be strongly encouraged to return to on-site work. Two-thirds said teachers should be allowed to do their jobs virtually and the remainder said they were unsure.
Thirty-six percent of parents who identified as Republicans said teachers should be considered essential workers who must return to school, compared with 13 percent of Democrats.
The president demanded schools fully reopen in the fall amid rising caseloads, threatening to withhold funding for public schools that did not. Trump has repeatedly downplayed the risk of the virus to children, including in an interview with Fox News’s “Fox & Friends.” His campaign’s Twitter account was briefly locked for tweeting the clip, which the social media platform flagged as containing misinformation about the virus.
In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), an ally of the president, has also threatened the funding of schools that do not reopen. On Monday, a judge temporarily halted the governor’s statewide order, saying it “essentially ignored” the requirement that they operate safely.
“The districts have no meaningful alternative,” wrote Judge Charles Dodson of Leon County. “If an individual school district chooses safety, that is, delaying the start of schools until it individually determines it is safe to do so for its county, it risks losing state funding, even though every student is being taught.”