A majority of voters oppose schools fully opening this fall for in-person classes, according to a Morning Consult poll released Wednesday.
Sixty-five percent of respondents opposed President Donald Trump’s threat to withhold federal funding for schools that stay closed amid the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, those polled indicated that they favored additional resources for schools in order to ensure they could adequately continue virtual learning, according to the poll, which was first reported by Politico.
The poll’s findings stand in stark opposition to Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who have called for schools across the country to return to in-person classes in the fall.
Only 22% of respondents said that they supported cutting federal funding for schools that did not reopen, the poll found.
Fifty-three percent of voters said that they were opposed to fully opening K-12 schools and daycares, while 50% opposed reopening colleges and universities for in-person classes, according to the poll. (RELATED: ‘This Is Appalling’: Pelosi Accuses Betsy DeVos Of ‘Malfeasance And Dereliction Of Duty’)
Women and suburban voters surveyed, two demographic groups critical to Trump’s reelection, were against the full reopening of schools as well, with 56% and 55%, respectively, indicating their opposition, according to the poll.
President Trump went as far as to threaten to cut off federal funding if schools do not reopen. He has no authority to do that.
And the decision to reopen relies largely on local and state leaders. https://t.co/iOdyIPzo1l
— NPR (@NPR) July 8, 2020
Morning Consult surveyed 1,992 registered voters for the poll, with a margin of error of plus-or-minus 2%.
The American Academy of Pediatrics called Trump’s model a “one size fits all model” and not the ideal way to reopen schools, Politico reported.
White House coronavirus task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci said Tuesday that the goal is to get as many kids back in school as possible, acknowledging the unintended consequences that can arise when students are kept at home, and the additional health risks that could come from in-person classes.
“You don’t want to send children back to school with a substantial risk to their health,” Fauci said on podcast “America Dissected” Tuesday. “You’ve got to do whatever you can to mitigate any negative effects on their health.”
The polls also comes as some of the largest school districts in the country have opted to remain online once the academic year begins. The Los Angeles and San Diego school districts recently announced that they would remain completely online, while districts surrounding Washington, D.C. a proposing a virtual start as well, Politico reported Monday.
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