More than a quarter of California parents moved their children to new schools during the pandemic. Most say they want to give their children a different experience and are unhappy with COVID protocols and learning and mental health support.
Charter schools saw the largest increase in student numbers, with 23% of parents sending their children to charter schools after the switch compared to just 15% before the switch. Parents are more likely to live in the Los Angeles area, followed by the Central Valley and Bay Area. The poll also showed that parents who switched their children to home schooling increased her by 4 percentage points.
Additionally, 28% of parents currently considering transferring their child are more likely to be dissatisfied with the quality of instruction in their child’s school.
An annual poll conducted by Policy Analysis for California (PACE) and the University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education assesses the current threats to public education. The company’s study of transfers is an attempt to understand the causes of sharp declines in enrollment during the pandemic, including her record drop of 2.6% in 2020-21 and her drop of 1.8% last year. did.
A July poll found that among the 28% of parents who said they had transferred, traditional public schools had the highest rate of decline. About half of them started in traditional school, but only 41% ended up in traditional school. The percentage of homeschoolers also increased from 3% to 7%.
The poll did not specifically ask respondents why they switched to charter school or what type of charter school they switched to. Opinion polls show that support for charter schools has increased by 8 percentage points from 2020 to 2022.
Julie Marsh, an education policy professor at the USC Rossier School of Education and author of the report, says the reasons parents give as reasons to transfer schools offer some insight into why families transfer schools. . Percent expressed dissatisfaction with her COVID-19 safety measures at school and 30 percent expressed dissatisfaction with the individualized support their child was receiving.
“We have to assume that charter schools had more favorable COVID policies and provided what parents considered a better education for their children,” Marsh said.
High-income households (47%) and Los Angeles County parents (39%) cited the most dissatisfaction with COVID-19 measures.
The poll surveyed 2,000 registered California voters online in English and Spanish. This includes an oversample of 500 parents with children under the age of 18 living at home. The margin of error for the entire study is estimated to be plus or minus 2.5 percentage points. “
The survey asked California voters about other “serious threats” to public education, including the politicization of education, curriculum controversy, student well-being, teacher shortages, and college affordability. For the fourth year in a row, the top educational issue was the decline in gun violence in schools.
Parents most likely to report transferring schools reported that they earn more than $150,000 (38%), are white (30%), Democratic (30%), and speak English as their first language (27%). They were more likely to live in Los Angeles (33%) or Sacramento/North County (31%) than in San Diego (19%) or Central Valley (22%).
Asian Americans (12%) and those who speak English as a second language (15%) were least likely to change schools.
Many families moved during the pandemic. 28% report changing schools for that reason.
The poll report also noted that many California families who moved during the pandemic were not included in the survey because they no longer live in California.
Marsh said that while the report addresses some serious issues, California voters surveyed still give public education high marks.
“The grades they’re giving to schools are pretty high. Not all of them are brooding and catastrophic,” Marsh said. “There are a lot of positive things here.”
More than 68% of respondents said their country’s public education is under attack, but 85% said their country “cannot have an effective democracy without a good public education”. I agree. Most voters expressed support for a locally elected school board. A poll found strong voter support (64%) for spending more time teaching grade-appropriate classes on the causes and consequences of racism and inequality. A similar number of respondents support California’s recent ethnic research requirements. This requires students to take ethnic studies courses in order to graduate from high school. A majority of parents agreed that parents should be able to opt out of books assigned by teachers if the content is deemed inappropriate.
Voters rank college tuition costs as the second most important educational issue, with 57% of parents expressing concern. Black parents (75%) were most likely to be concerned compared to Latino parents (63%), Asian American parents (52%) and White parents (51%). However, 92% still believe college is a good investment in their child’s future.
California voters strongly support “hardening schools” measures such as installing metal detectors (77%), employing armed guards (70%) and restricting entrances and exits (69%). They also strongly support school-free gun policies, such as expanding public support for mental health.
Voters expressed concerns about the funding and stability of the school system. Despite recent federal and state investments, 40% of voters and 50% of parents say improving school funding is their top concern. Parents are also increasingly concerned about teacher shortages exacerbated during the pandemic. This year, 43% of voters cited teacher shortages as their top education concern. Voters with income less than her $35,000 were more likely to report it as a top priority (54%).
After lengthy debate at its most recent school board meeting on Monday, the Bakersfield City School District, citing staff recommendations and reports, voted three-to-one to charter schools from the Central Academy of Arts and Technology. dismissed the petition. He raised many concerns about the application of the Charter.
A motion to dismiss the petition was issued by Laura Guerrero Salgado, supported by Lillian Tafoya and Pam Bauer, Sharon Zimmerman voted against the staff’s recommendation to reject the petition, and Chris Cruz Boone abstained.
CAAT co-founder Joanna Kendrick said before district officials posted their recommendations ahead of Monday’s meeting, CAAT stands ready to appeal the decision if it is denied. rice field.
Perry Smith contributed to this report.