Back-to-School Sentiment

The back-to-school season is fraught with tension as school districts and state officials attempt to reconcile the safety risks of in-person schooling with the impact of remote learning on students’ social and academic progess. As the start of the 2020 school year rapidly approaches and COVID-19 cases continue to rise, we asked our audience whether they feel it is safe for students and school faculty to resume in-person instruction in the fall. We look at preferences for at-home versus in-person instruction as well as the impact remote schooling will have on access to scholarships and childcare.

As a proponent of sending students back to the classroom, President Trump’s views on the back-to-school debate are reflective of an overarching push toward reopening that has defined his administration’s response to the pandemic. Nearly four months after schools moved to remote instruction in the spring, we also checked in with our audience to see how they feel about the way President Trump is handling the outbreak today. 

July 7, 2020

Breakdown of Survey Respondents

  • Parent/guardian of a school-age child
  • School employee
  • Both a school employee and the parent/guardian of a school-age child
  • Neither a school employee nor the parent/guardian of a school-age child

Do you think children should resume in-person schooling this fall?

68% of Americans do not think children should resume in-person schooling this fall.

 68% of Americans do not think children should resume in-person schooling this fall.

Do you feel it is safe for children to resume in-person schooling this fall?

71

of Americans do not feel that it is safe for children to resume in-person schooling this fall.

71% 71% of Americans do not feel that it is safe for children to resume in-person schooling this fall.

Do you feel it is safe for teachers, educators, and school staff to resume in-person schooling this fall?

70

of Americans do not feel that it is safe for teachers, educators, and school staff to resume in-person schooling this fall.

70% of Americans do not feel that it is safe for teachers, educators, and school staff to resume in-person schooling this fall.

Perceived Safety of In-Person Schooling for Students vs. Faculty

  • Compared to other respondents, teachers and school employees are most likely to feel that it is safe for children to return to school in person this fall.  
  • Teachers are more concerned about their students’ health than their own (57% of educators say in-person schooling is not safe for teachers, 65% say it’s not safe for students). 
  • Americans without children are more likely than parents and educators to consider a mix of both remote and in-person learning a viable option.  

Have you felt supported by your school district during this time of uncertainty?

65% of parents and school employees have felt supported by their school districts during this time of uncertainty.

65% of parents and school employees have felt supported by their school districts during this time of uncertainty.

Parents who do not work in the schools feel more supported than educators (both with and without school-age children).

A bar graph comparing how supported people feel by their school districts

Which option would you prefer for back-to-school?

A majority of Americans would prefer remote schooling (41%) or a mixture of both in-person and remote instruction (38%) this fall.

20% of Americans would prefer in-person schooling this fall, 41% would prefer a remote option and 38% would like a mix of both
  • Compared to other respondents, parents are most likely to favor remote learning while teachers are most likely to favor in-person instruction.  
  • Teachers with school-age children are more likely than parents to favor a mix of in-person and remote learning.
  • Americans that do not identify as either a parent or educator are least likely to favor in-person instruction.
Bar graphs comparing which back to school options people would prefer for the fall

Are you or your child’s scholarships impacted by remote education (i.e. athletic scholarships)?

29% of scholarships are impacted by remote education.

29% of scholarships are impacted by remote education. 

Educators with school age-children are most likely to feel impact on scholarships.

29% of parents/guardians will feel the impact of scholarships while 35% of educators who are also teachers will.

Do you have childcare if school is remote or staggered in the fall?

Only half of parents have childcare if school is remote or staggered in the fall.

50% of parents have childcare if school is remote or staggered in the fall

Parents who are not also educators are less likely to have childcare if school is remote or staggered.

51% of parents/guardians have childcare if school is staggered compared to only 42% of educators who are also teachers.

How do you feel about the way President Trump is handling the coronavirus outbreak?

26

of Americans approve of the way Trump is handling the U.S. response to the COVID-19 outbreak. This represents a 50% decrease in approval rating since mid-April.

See what other insights we've gathered to date

Relocation During COVID-19

See Results

FAQs

How is this data collected?

‘Fluent Pulse’ reflects a daily online survey collected across Fluent’s portfolio of owned & operated websites.

Who is the audience?

Fluent attracts a massive audience across its network of owned media properties. While all segments of the US population are represented, the below are our most prevalent demographic skews:

Demographic Attribute Over Penetrated Among
Age

Median: 38

61% between the age of 18 & 44

Gender 50/50 Male/Female
Education High School Degree or Some College
Homeownership 61% Renters
Households with Children 42% of Audience

How many people were surveyed?

On average, 150,000 – 175,000 consumers respond daily.

Is the data weighted?

No, but representative of the overall Fluent Audience.

How do you protect consumers data privacy?

All responses related to this survey are anonymized; only survey responses will be disclosed. At no point will consumer’s personal information will ever be disclosed.

What was your methodology?

Data was collected from US adults between March 10 & April 26, 2020 via Fluent’s portfolio of owned and operated media properties. Results are specific to the Fluent audience, and not reflective of the general US population.

The data presented on this site does not reflect the official opinion, policy or position of Fluent, Inc. This research is only meant to inform and illustrate, as an example, the rich data assets Fluent can derive insights from to drive in-market strategies.