A recently released poll from USA Today/Ipsos shows that as many as 18% of teachers in the United States might not be ready to return to school in the fall should they reopen.
The survey of 505 kindergarten through high school teachers was taken May 18-21, and has a credibility interval of 5 points.
The survey asked: “If your school was to reopen and implement social distancing guidelines, how likely are the following?”
18% of teachers said “I would not return to teaching.”
Broken down further, a full 6% of teachers surveyed said they “very likely” wouldn’t return, and 13% were slightly less certain, saying that it is “somewhat likely” they would not return.
A supermajority of teachers, 69%, indicated that they would likely return to schools in the fall if social distancing guidelines were implemented. 26% of respondents said it’s “not very likely” that they wouldn’t return, and 43% said it’s “not at all likely” that they wouldn’t return.
12% “don’t know.”
The survey also asked about a series of “measures” pertaining to schools reopening, and how teachers feel about those measures: “Would you support or oppose the following measures if schools in your area implemented them this fall?”
The most popular option with 69% support was “returning to school 2-3 days a week, with distance learning on the other days.” 20% “strongly support” this idea while 10% “strongly oppose.” 49% “somewhat support” and 17% “somewhat oppose.”
In second place with 65% support would be “high-risk” teachers “continuing to teach online while low-risk teachers teach in person.” 20% “strongly support” this measure while 8% “strongly oppose.” 44% “somewhat support” and 18% “somewhat oppose.”
In third with 57% was simply a return to school “five days a week.” 24% “strongly support” that idea while 11% “strongly oppose.” 33% “somewhat support” and 24% “somewhat oppose.”
49% of those surveyed said that they support the idea of “students and teachers returning to school before there is a coronavirus vaccine.” 13% “strongly support” the idea while 14% “strongly oppose.” 36% “somewhat support” and 26% “somewhat oppose.”
Only 34% agreed with adjusting the school year timeline to begin earlier and end later.
USA Today/Ipsos also surveyed parents.
As numerous states begin their reopening phases, and all eyes look toward the fall and the reopening of schools, there are differing ideas regarding how to move ahead. As a vaccine timeline remains unclear, personal mitigation and sanitation appear to be some of the only options that could allow Americans to begin again in earnest.
Clearly, as shown in the USA Today/Ipsos survey, teachers are just as unsure as it pertains to reopening, as well as the best ways to do so safely.
COVID-19 has infected over 5.9 million people worldwide, and led to more than 357,900 deaths, according to data from the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) Global Cases map. Over 2.3 million people have recovered.
In the United States, there have been more than 1.7 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, and over 101,000 deaths. As of publication, 391,508 individuals have recovered from the virus.
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