The White House is currently making a very hard push to reopen schools on time this fall. To no one’s surprise, the movement has yet to gain much traction. As we get closer and closer to the school year, parents appear to be more and more reticent. The majority who stood in opposition has grown and this puts a major damper in President Trump’s economic recovery proposals.
The Phase 4 relief proposal also hangs in the balance at the moment. Daycare centers cannot be opened until everyone is on board either. Parents are starting to get used to the idea of homeschooling their children, whether they have the finances to do so or not. The results of the most recent POLITICO/Morning Consult poll say it all.
Nearly 2,000 newly registered voters were polled and almost 60 percent stood in opposition to school re-openings. 56 percent of respondents are against the idea of opening daycare facilities as well. 57 percent of respondents are opposed to the opening of colleges and universities. These numbers have all continued to rise since the last poll.
This is one of the main reasons for the current impasse in Congress. The Republicans have a proposal that provides schools that decide to reopen with billions in funding. Voters are not interested. They do not believe that school funding should be tied to a reopen, under any circumstances. These voters also believe schools should receive the same funding, whether they are able to have in-person instruction or they open virtually.
These numbers are not what the Trump administration wanted to hear. Out of all voters, only 33 percent of respondents are in support of a full school reopening. Meanwhile, 41 percent of respondents strongly oppose the idea. The demographics that are looking to reopen the schools tend to be Republican, while the Democrats are more reticent.
The support from Republican demographics is soft at the moment and even the evangelical Trump supporters are not into the idea. The administration is trying their best to spur people into action by pointing out the damage that will be done to poor communities. This message has not landed. 44 percent of voters who make $50,000 or less are strongly opposed.
The numbers say it all. Americans are still making the COVID-19 pandemic top priority. The economy and the educational system are not nearly as important and this is something that the White House needs to wrap their minds around right away. Their steadfast refusal to acknowledge the facts has led them to consider an approach that no one is on board with.
It’s time to recalculate and fast. The best approach that can be taken here is a simple re-calibration. If the Republicans are willing to offer billions to schools that are ready to reopen, why can’t this money be given to parents who are looking to educate their little ones at home? With so many parents out of work, paying them to serve as home school teachers this year could provide the United States with a much needed economic boost.
Low-income neighborhoods can be provided with high-speed internet connections, allowing teachers to remain in touch with their students more easily. Online alternatives have to be offered at the moment, especially during a moment when the nation is not looking to endanger the health of their children. Trump needs to figure out how to make parents’ reluctance work in his favor, instead of fighting back.
At some point, the Trump administration needs to get behind the general public. They have spent lots of time playing catch up as of late and that’s why their policy proposals are simply not getting any sort of traction. In fact, they need to stop worrying about getting behind the general public. It’s time for the Trump administration to start getting ahead of the public sentiment, as opposed to constantly trailing behind them. The future of the nation’s children depends on it.