JEFFERSON CITY, MO — A new statewide survey released today finds Missouri parents overwhelmingly support policies that protect and expand access to online public schools as a means to protect the health and safety of families during the pandemic.
These results come as many school districts in Missouri have been denying families the right to choose the best educational option for their child, including by abusing the veto authority over enrollment provided under the Missouri Course Access and Virtual School Program (MOCAP).
The survey revealed that:
- 79% of parents oppose giving school districts “veto power” over a parent’s decision to enroll their child in a full-time online school: and
- 75% of parents support the state of Missouri granting emergency waivers for parents who wish to enroll their student in an online public school this fall.
Beyond the broad support for expanded access to online schools, parents are worried about the health impact of schools reopening. 57% of parents said they remained very concerned about risks due to COVID-19, while 75% of respondents anticipate additional school closures in the fall.
These concerns are being translated into significant support for online public schools, with 43% of respondents noting they’d be willing to consider this educational option for their own child. Based on 2019 enrollment data, that would mean more than 390,000 students may not return to their traditional classroom as parents become more familiar with online learning options.
The survey sampled 400 Missouri adults with children at home. 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%.
STATEMENT BY PSO NATIONAL BOARD PRESIDENT COLLEEN COOK:
“Parents are concerned that COVID-19 remains a threat to the health of our children and the continuity of their education. With so much uncertainty around the return to brick schools this fall, policymakers must act immediately to ensure that every parent has the option to enroll in an online school so that their child may learn in a safe environment.”