Coronavirus Tracking Survey K-12 Methodology and Topline Results

Research Rundown Issue: June '21
Publisher: USC Dornsife Center for Economic and Social Research
Date Published: May '21


This nationally representative panel of almost 1,500 parents of K-12 students, from April – May 2021, shared insights into student participation and support for a variety of strategies states and districts are considering for COVID-19 recovery. Looking at immediate interventions: While only about one-third of families had access to in-person summer school, about 25% enrolled their child.  And, about one-third of parents with access to tutoring indicated that their children were participating.

Looking forward, parents largely support policies related to using technology to support flexible learning, with most parents favoring remote tutoring (82%), parent-teacher conferences (80%), and student-teacher communication (75%). Parents also supported using distance learning for when the weather is bad or if a school needed to be closed for another reason (73%). Parent support was low for several other policies, including:

  • 29% support using pass/fail grades instead of A-F letter grades,
  • 23% support a longer school year,
  • 19% support longer school days, and
  • 15% support promoting students to the next grade level even if they don’t meet requirements.

Why This Matters in Minnesota

In March, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP), which sent $1.3 billion to Minnesota for K-12 education. Of that, 90% of the federal stimulus funding ($1.18 billion) is going directly to districts and charter schools through the Title I formula—which is based on the number of students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. The remaining 10% of the funds ($132 million) went to the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE). MDE is currently working on their plan for how they will spend the money, which they will submit to the U.S. Department of Education on June 30.

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