Poll: Parents want more school options

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — An Indianapolis-based education nonprofit is polling parents across the United States about school. Now, as this school year comes to an end, more parents say they are looking at different options next year.

EdChoice started polling 1,000 to 1,200 parents every month when the pandemic started. 

In April, it found:

  • 84% of parents felt comfortable with their kids attending school
  • 78% of parents want schools to provide multiple learning options
  • 66% of parents support some sort of homeschooling
Courtesy: EdChoice

“There is a real vibrancy that is happening among families and among parents and they just want different options,” EdChoice President and CEO, Robert Enlow, said.

Enlow says the pandemic has pushed parents to reexamine what school looks like for their children and to take more action.

“We are in this post-pandemic wave, and you would think everyone wants to run back to schooling as normal. What we are finding is, that is not what parents want. Over time, what we are finding is parents want multiple learning environments–multiple options. They don’t want to go back just to the way it was,” Enlow said. “In fact, four out of five parents want their children and families to attend school less than five days a week. They want some at home, they want multiple learning environments, too.”

When it comes to school priorities, the poll found that student resources, curriculum, and access to transportation were viewed as the most important to parents. Still, more than 65% of parents said masks and/or vaccine requirements are at least somewhat important right now.

“They are continuously saying they have had some disruption because of the policies… and policies around masking and COVID and all that. But, what we are finding is, that parents are really focusing on, ‘How is my child learning? What is my child getting and how can I access good options for my child?’” Enlow said.

The latest poll also found that American parents rank education as their third-highest priority for local governments. According to the poll, the economy is ranked first and health care is second. See the data here.