Most U.S. parents say it would be risky to send their children back to school in the fall — including a slim majority of Republicans and a staggering nine in 10 Black Americans — in this week’s installment of the Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index, Axios’ Margaret Talev reports.
Why it matters: President Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos have threatened to withhold federal funds from schools that don’t reopen. The new findings suggest that this pressure campaign could backfire with many of the voters to whom Trump is trying to appeal ahead of the election.
What they’re saying: “Americans at this point, and parents more specifically, can’t be force-fed policies that go against what they think,” says Cliff Young, president of Ipsos U.S. Public Affairs.
- “You can’t wish away or scare away a virus,” Young says. “And right now, they’re not feeling safe in putting their children back in school.”
- “There’s political risks as well — serious political risks for Trump and Republicans. Because even the Republican base sees a risk in putting kids back into the school in the fall.”
Driving the news: Officials on Monday began announcing decisions impacting schools in some major metro areas, erring on the side of caution in response to health concerns and parents’ anxieties.
- In California, school officials announced that public schools in Los Angeles and San Diego will hold online classes only.
- Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday that New York schools will open only if the daily infection rates in their region are below 5% over a 14-day average, and that “we’re not going to use our children as guinea pigs.”