Parents across California are more stressed than usual, and school — or lack thereof — is a major source, according to a statewide survey of 1,200 public school parents commissioned by a nonprofit research and advocacy group.
Most parents gave their schools and districts credit for short-term crisis planning, but worry about their kids falling behind academically. The same equity issues long entrenched in California education remain so during the pandemic, said Elisha Smith Arrillaga, executive director of Education Trust-West, which sponsored the survey conducted by the research firm Global Strategy Group from March 26 to April 1.
According to the poll, 89% of parents are concerned about ensuring their children do not fall behind academically during school closures, and 79% are worried about their children’s mental well-being while at home. The poll showed that 80% of parents said their own stress is higher or much higher than usual, and 49% reported that their children’s stress was higher than usual.
“Our poll finds that parents crave consistent contact with teachers and equitable access to academic resources,” Smith Arrillaga said. The poll found that access to remote learning was not equal. “Parents that were either low-income parents, African American parents or Latinx parents were less likely to have been in contact with their child’s teacher,” she said.
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