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 CSievers@MagellanStrategies.com, DFlaherty@MagellanStrategies.com, or RWinger@MagellanStrategies.com, or by contacting our office at (303) 861-8585.