Here’s who’s most concerned about online learning

Lower-income parents more likely to report that their children were only receiving online instruction
By: | October 30, 2020
Families of students attending class in-person, full-time were most likely to say they were "very satisfied" with how their school administrators are delivering instruction during the COVID pandemic. (GettyImages/Imgorthand)Families of students attending class in-person, full-time were most likely to say they were "very satisfied" with how their school administrators are delivering instruction during the COVID pandemic. (GettyImages/Imgorthand)

Families with lower incomes are most concerned about their students falling behind in school due to various forms of online and remote learning during COVID disruptions, a new survey has found.

Nearly three-quarters of these parents expressed worry, compared to 63% of middle-income and 55% of upper-income families, according to the survey by the Pew Research Center.

Lower-income parents (53%) were also more likely to report that their children were only receiving online instruction. Only 16% of these families said their students were attending school in-person, full-time.

As for middle-income families, 22% said they had access to full-time, in-person instruction, while 45% were online-only.


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Overall, families of students attending class in-person, full-time were most likely to say they were “very satisfied” with how their school administrators are delivering instruction during the pandemic.

Almost half of the parents whose students are attending full-time also said they were very satisfied with safety measures their schools have taken to prevent the spread of COVID.

Only 27% of parents whose children are getting a hybrid in-person and online instruction were very satisfied.

Many families also reported providing additional academic help to students through lower-income parent were mostly to say that they or another household adult was providing their children with additional instruction.

Upper-income parents were most likely to report having hired someone else, such as a tutor, to provide additional instruction or resources.


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The survey also found that the COVID outbreak had increased a majority of parents’ concerns about screen time, social connections, emotional well-being and access to extracurricular activities.

More than half the parents were worried about kids not getting enough exercise while about a third expressed more concern about students being unsupervised.

Finally, parents of pre-school children were more concerned about their children’s development of social skills than language or physical skills


DA’s coronavirus page offers complete coverage of the impacts on K-12.