A new poll found nearly three-quarters of American parents are worried about school reopenings, including a majority of Republicans.
A whopping 71% of American parents say that sending children back to school in the fall is risky, according to a new Axios/Ipsos poll about Americans' feelings about the coronavirus released on Tuesday.
The poll comes as Donald Trump and members of his administration, including Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, push for full school reopenings this fall — even as the virus is surging in many states across the country.
The administration is pushing for the reopenings despite giving little guidance to school districts.
Trump has urged districts to ignore guidelines released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, calling them too "tough" and "expensive" to implement, and has even threatened to pull funding from schools that do not ignore the CDC guidelines to open fully.
But the Axios poll shows that might not be a prudent political position, as even 53% of Republican parents view reopening schools as very or moderately risky.
"You can't wish away or scare away a virus," Cliff Young, president of Ipsos U.S. Public Affairs, told Axios. "And right now, they're not feeling safe in putting their children back in school."
School districts across the country are starting to announce plans for the fall, with major districts like Atlanta, Nashville, and Los Angeles announcing that students will not attend in-person classes when the school year begins.
Other major districts, such as New York City, will only have students in classrooms part-time.
But even that is up for debate, as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Monday that in-person learning will only resume if the 14-day average of coronavirus infections is below 5%.
"We're not going to use our children as guinea pigs," Cuomo said.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.