Colorado Parent Education Survey 2021

Survey Objective:

This survey was paid for by Magellan Strategies, and no outside individuals or organizations played a role in question development or design.

The primary objective of this survey was to measure and understand the thoughts of Colorado parents and guardians who have a student attending school or who will be homeschooled this year in Kindergarten through 12th grade. Questions measured opinions about:

  • Handling of COVID-19 in schools during the 2020-2021 school year
  • Impacts of COVID-19 on students’ education during the 2020-2021 school year
  • Plans for COVID-19 measures for the upcoming school year, such as masks and remote learning
  • Vaccination requirements for teachers, students, and staff
  • Viewpoints of teaching Critical Race Theory in schools

This survey interviewed 516 parents or guardians of K-12 students in Colorado. Survey data collection was conducted by sending a text invitation to a random sample of Coloradans. The interviews were conducted from August 9th to August 16th, 2021. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 4.31% at the 95% confidence interval.

Key Findings and Observations:

  • Parents and guardians were asked if they agree or disagree that students in grades K through 12 should be required to wear a mask for in-person learning. Parents were evenly split on this issue with 48% agreeing that masks should be required and 50% disagreeing.
  • This issue is heavily split along party lines with 83% of Democrats agreeing that students should be required to wear masks, and 79% of Republicans disagreeing with a mask mandate for students. Among Unaffiliated parents, 43% agree with mask mandates for students and 56% disagree with the mandate.
  • When asked about a vaccination requirement for all teachers and staff, 52% of parents support requiring all teachers and staff to be vaccinated and 45% oppose.
  • For both mandate questions regarding masks and vaccines, parents in smaller towns and more rural areas were not as supportive of mandates as those within the Denver and suburban areas.
  • Approximately seven in ten parents are at least somewhat familiar with the concept of critical race theory (CRT), with 41% being very familiar and 30% being somewhat familiar.
  • Parents who were at least somewhat familiar with critical race theory were asked to define critical race theory, and the major themes from the definitions describe CRT as a tool for reexamining history using race, and the idea that racism is built into institutions. There were also many answers regarding left-wing propaganda and discrimination against white people, and the belief that CRT teaches even more hate.
  • Among all parents, 45% oppose teaching critical race theory in schools, and 37% support teaching the concept. This question was very split along party lines as well, with 71% of Democrats supporting the teaching of CRT and 78% of Republicans opposing CRT being taught in schools. Unaffiliated parents do lean closer to Republican parents on the topic of CRT, as 29% support teaching CRT in schools and 49% oppose the teaching of CRT.
  • Looking back to the 2020-2021 school year, 53% of parents approved of the job their local school district did addressing the coronavirus and 40% disapproved of the job their school district did.
  • Parents were asked if they were concerned that their student would need additional instruction on core subjects. Among all 5 subjects tested at least 49% of parents were very or somewhat concerned that their student would need additional instruction this school year.
  • The subject with the highest concern was math at 58% very and somewhat concerned, followed by writing skills (57% very and somewhat concerned), Science (52% very and somewhat concerned), History and Social Studies (50% very and somewhat concerned), and Reading skills (49% very and somewhat concerned).
  • Fifty-six percent of parents feel that their student’s schools should offer both in-person learning and online learning. Thirty-seven percent of parents believe that the school should only offer in-person learning. Among all respondents, 79% of parents said their students would be returning to school in person, full time for the upcoming school year.
  • When asked if they felt public schools in Colorado are underfunded, 63% of parents said yes and 22% of parents said no. When asked if they would support a modest tax increase to help fund their local school district, 58% of parents said yes and 34% said no.

Any questions regarding this survey can be directed to,, or, or by contacting our office at (303) 861-8585.

Recent Blog Posts

Image of elementary school children.
David Flaherty

Colorado 2023 Public Education Opinion Survey

The issue of public education nationally and in Colorado continues to be at the top of voter’s minds, regardless of having a student in school. This survey attempts to measure and understand the opinions of Coloradan student parents and non-parents regarding a wide range of public education issues and their local school district.

Read More »
David Flaherty

Colorado 2023 Education Survey Results by Region

In order to generate relevant insights and opinion data at a local level, we oversampled (additional interviews) in seven regions. These seven regions (see our region map in this post) were created by combining some of the twelve Colorado Association of School Boards (CASB) regions.

Read More »
David Flaherty

Colorado Housing and Land Use Opinion Survey

The issue of affordable housing and land use policies has remained at the forefront of Colorado state and local government policymakers, the state legislature, housing advocates, and a large majority of residents. This survey measures the opinions of several state and local housing and land use polices and proposals.

Read More »

Sign up for our newsletter to be notified of future Magellan Strategies public opinion surveys.