NJ Poll: Black, White Parents Split on Reopening Schools
There's a clear divide along racial lines related to reopening New Jersey schools during the current COVID-19 crisis, according to poll results released by a Newark-based social justice organization.
Project Ready finds Black parents in the Garden State are far from comfortable with returning their children to a fully in-person schedule, while close to three-quarters of white parents are all for it.
At the same time, children of Black parents are about 2.5 times more likely to be currently learning through only remote instruction.
"It's an incredible gap," Project Ready Executive Director Shennell McCloud told us. "When we look at the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19, I'm not completely shocked that parents and families are highly concerned about safety."
The novel coronavirus has become the leading cause of death among Black residents of New Jersey, according to NorthJersey.com. State data show 3,690 COVID-19 deaths among Black residents. The demographic represents 16% of the state's coronavirus death toll.
In the Project Ready poll of 960 New Jersey voters, just 24% of African American parents said they'd send their child back to in-person learning, compared to 73% of white parents. A third of Black parents said they lack sufficient internet access, compared to 13% of white parents, yet 78% of Black parents said their children are learning exclusively online — 29% of white parents said the same.
Gov. Phil Murphy announced on Monday that 110 of New Jersey's 811 public districts, charter schools, renaissance schools, and schools for students with disabilities were open for all in-person instruction. More than 500 were open for hybrid instruction, and 142 were all-remote.
"We need to ensure that there's equitable vaccination access over the course of the next couple months, so that we hopefully can start to see a turnaround, and people's excitement about returning to school, versus fear," McCloud said.
LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions
While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.