POLL: 68% Of Americans Without Children Worry Kids Are Falling Behind In Schools Due To COVID-19

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Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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More than two-thirds of Americans without school-age children are worried that kids are falling behind academically due to COVID-19 shutdowns.

68% of Americans without school-age children are “extremely or very concerned” about “children falling behind academically” due to online-only education, a UChicago Harris/AP-NORC poll conducted between Feb. 25 and March 1 found. 42% of parents are “extremely or very concerned” about the same question.

The response gap between parents and non-parents persisted throughout the poll. 59% of adults without children were concerned about school-age kids falling behind socially, while 42% of parents were. 41% of non-parents were concerned about reopened schools spreading COVID-19, compared to 33% of parents.

The poll surveyed 1,076 people, with a margin of error of 4.1%.

School shutdowns have exacerbated mental health concerns among school-age children. A survey of insurance claims found that mental health-related claims for teenagers between 13 and 18 nearly doubled year-over-year from 2019 to 2020.

Antonio Guterres, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, described school shutdowns as a “generational catastrophe that could waste untold human potential, undermine decades of progress and exacerbate entrenched inequalities” in an August 2020 address. (RELATED: REPORT: Student Suicides Double In Locked Down Nevada County. Officials Now Surveil Students’ Devices 24/7)

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention released official guidance Feb. 12 explaining that schools can safely reopen with some mitigation measures, including masking and maintaining a three-foot distance between students. Although many teachers unions are pushing for teachers to receive vaccinations before they return to school, scientists, including White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci, have said that vaccines are not a requirement for reopening.