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Reimagining Education

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Three in four Missouri parents want easy access to virtual education

Missouri needs to eliminate barriers to virtual education and make sure parents know their options.

That is the clear message parents gave in a new survey released last week by the National Coalition of Public School Options which asked 400 Missouri parents about schools’ responses to the pandemic and their knowledge and interest in virtual education.

Three in four parents agreed that Missouri should issue emergency waivers for state laws that would limit a parent’s ability to directly enroll in a virtual education program this fall and 79 percent of respondents opposed giving districts the power to block a student’s enrollment in a virtual education program.

The survey also found that almost one in three parents (29 percent) were unhappy with the education their children received when schools closed in the spring, are worried about sending their children back to school this fall (57 percent), and expect schools to have to close again in the coming year as a result of the pandemic (75 percent).

While many districts are announcing their reopening plans this week, the survey showed that 43 percent of respondents would be interested in enrolling their children in a full-time virtual program that provided students with a laptop computer, state-aligned curriculum, and all of the learning materials needed to complete coursework online.

The survey was conducted June 28 – July 6, 2020 by WPA Intelligence for the National Coalition for Public School Options (PSO). The survey has a margin of error of ± 4.9%.

Please see full survey results below:

Do you believe your child or children is at risk of contracting COVID-19?
Did you agree or disagree with the decision to close brick and mortar public schools due to COVID-19 this past Spring?
When public schools in Missouri were closed due to COVID-19 and the transition to remote learning was made, were you generally satisfied or dissatisfied with the quality of instruction provided by your school district?
Looking ahead to the next school year, how concerned are you about sending your child or children back to a brick and mortar school due to COVID-19?
Once schools officially re-open, how soon would you be willing to send your child or children back to school?
How likely or unlikely do you think it is that COVID-19 will cause schools to close again this fall or winter?
Do you agree or disagree that every public school should be required to have an emergency learning plan that is tested and ready, in case schools are forced to close again this year?
Are you aware that since 2018, Missouri families have had the right to enroll their child in a tuition-free, full time online public school?
Has your school district provided you any information about how to enroll your child in a tuition-free, full-time online program?
How willing or unwilling are you to enroll your child in a tuition-free, full-time online public school?
Full-time online public schools provide students with a laptop computer, state-aligned curriculum, and the learning materials needed to complete coursework online. Knowing this, how willing or unwilling are you to enroll your child in a tuition-free, full-time online public school?
Do you have the internet access necessary to enable your child to complete schoolwork online?
Missouri law gives school districts “veto power” over a parent’s decision to enroll in a full-time online public school, if the district believes online education is not in the best interests of the student. Do you agree or disagree that school districts should be allowed to overrule a parent’s choice?
Some school districts have denied parents their legal right to enroll their child in an online public school, even when traditional schools were closed due to COVID-19. Do you agree or disagree that the state should grant an emergency waiver to parents looking to enroll their student in an online public school this fall due to COVID-19?
Do you agree or disagree that the Department of Education should remove limits and restrictions on students’ ability to attend online school, to meet parent demand due to COVID19?

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