Reopening plans for schools across the U.S. are being implemented at varying degrees, with some school districts with less COVID-19 cases in a less stressful situation than those currently experiencing outbreaks. For most states, teachers have been left off the list of essential people to receive a vaccine, and many districts are expecting to resume full-time, in-person learning without having all teachers and staff vaccinated. New survey data shows how a majority of Americans want all teachers to be vaccinated before reopening schools. However, like most vaccine-related stories, there’s a heavy partisan divide.
A new joint survey from Morning Consult and Politico shows a 55 percent majority of U.S. adults want teachers to be fully vaccinated before reopening schools. A strong 74 percent of Democrat respondents brought the average up, as only 33 percent of Republican respondents said states should wait until all teachers are vaccinated. A majority of Republicans – 55 percent – said schools should reopen as quickly as possible regardless of how many teachers have been vaccinated.
Overall, Republicans are holding a strong negative opinion of the way President Biden is handling education in the country. After campaigning on reopening schools for in-person learning and having most reopened within the first 100 days of his presidency, Biden has since walked back his position and says the goal is for schools to be open in some capacity five days a week and to consider summer class extensions if necessary.
Between Jan. 29 and Feb. 15, Biden’s approval rating on education dipped from 50 percent to 48 percent.