Plans for school attendance and support for COVID-19 risk mitigation measures among parents and guardians of public school children in Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio

From June 12-22, 2020, a research team at CHEAR led by Dr. Kao-Ping Chua conducted an online survey of 1,193 parents and guardians of public school children in Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio. The objectives were (1) to provide policymakers with information on the plans of parents and guardians regarding sending children to school for in-person classes during the 2020-2021 school year; and (2) to provide information on the views of parents and guardians on 15 measures to decrease COVID-19 risk at school.

Main findings:

Two-thirds of respondents reported that they will likely send all of their children to school; one-third were unsure or were not planning on sending at least one of their children.

Respondents from low-income households and racial/ethnic minority backgrounds were less likely to report that they plan to send their children to school, raising concerns for potential educational disruption among less advantaged students.

Support for risk-reduction measures varied. Measures with high support included having fewer children on buses, alternating between in-person and online classes, staggering arrival and pickup times, daily temperature screens of students, testing children if a classmate has COVID-19, weekly random testing of school staff for COVID-19, and requiring face coverings for school staff. Less than half of respondents supported requiring face coverings for children in kindergarten through 2nd grade.

Support for this project provided by the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation (IHPI).

Read the full report here.

Read the Michigan Health Lab blog here.

Read additional details at IHPI here.

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