Concerns about US school reopenings loom large: Poll

Only a few Americans want local schools to reopen for in-person classes as usual or even with minor adjustments amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new poll.

Eight per cent of Americans say their local K-12 schools should open for in-person classes as usual and 14 per cent think schools can reopen with minor adjustments, Xinhua news agency quoted the poll conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, as saying on Wednesday.

According to the poll, 46 per cent of Americans believe major adjustments are needed and 31 per cent say schools shouldn’t open at all, while a majority of adults are concerned that sending students back to school would cause a surge in new COVID-19 infections in their community.

Along with safety concerns around reopening, a majority of parents also worry about potential academic impacts of the virus for their children.

Fifty-five per cent parents are concerned about their children falling behind academically.

Fewer worry about having to deal with other responsibilities, finding childcare, or their child losing other school services such as counselling or school lunches.

Additionally, 63 per cent of Americans disapprove of how President Donald Trump, who has urged schools to reopen in the fall, is handling education, while 36 per cent approve.

There are significant partisan differences: less than 10 per cent Democrats approve along with more than 70 per cent of Republicans.

The nationwide poll was conducted July 16-20 with 1,057 adults.