NEW YORK (PIX11) — While New York City parents battle with the mayor over the school budget, parents across the country have other concerns about sending their kids to class, primarily their safety, according to a study released Thursday.
Parents with kids in grades K-12 are more concerned about school shootings than bullying and COVID-19, a Qualtrics’ 2022 Back-to-School Study found. They also want schools to hire more security guards, do more safety drills with students and improve COVID safety protocols.
Only 31% of parents feel their kids are “very safe” in school. Nearly half of the 1,100 people surveyed said they have transferred their kids to other schools or are considering it, according to the research.
The findings also highlighted the rise in inflation. Many of the parents said they are stressed about providing necessities including food, clothing, supplies, and transportation. Nearly half the parents said they would rely on free breakfast and lunches at school this year.
Last year, the research indicated that mothers and fathers felt it was up to the teachers to get students caught up on what they missed during the pandemic, but that sentiment has shifted this year. Now, 34% of parents say the responsibility falls on them, compared to school districts (28%) and teachers (24%).
Meanwhile, in New York City, parents and Mayor Eric Adams have gone to court over school budget cuts primarily due to falling enrollment. This will impact about 75% of public schools across the city, officials said. Earlier this month, a judge ruled that the mayor could keep his budget but the case is still going through the court system.
“Schools are going to open on time, with resources and services,” the mayor previously said. “We are not going to disrupt the school year.”
PIX11 reached out to the city DOE for comment on the study but did not receive a response.