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State releases data from parent back-to-school survey

The Alabama Department of Education is naming 75 schools to its 2020-21 "failing schools" list.
The Alabama Department of Education is naming 75 schools to its 2020-21 "failing schools" list.(Source: WSFA 12 News file photo)
Updated: Sep. 10, 2020 at 10:31 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The state released the results of a survey completed by parents to gauge how they felt about sending their child back to school this year.

The data gives a clearer picture of how parents were feeling before the school year started. The state partnered with the University of Alabama and a research firm to build a 31-question survey to tap into the hearts, minds, and living situations of families.

The survey collected over 26,000 responses and found that 65 percent of parents planned to send their child back to school, while 35 percent planned to keep their child at home.

The biggest concern among parents was not feeling comfortable with their child riding the bus. The survey also looked closely at internet and device access.

It found roughly 70 percent of those who responded do have high internet speeds at home, but 33 percent have to share a device with a sibling to do work.

Superintendent Dr. Eric Mackey said some of the numbers could be off slightly because the survey was conducted online and may have limited who had access.

“We’ll be using the parent survey to monitor the strengths and weaknesses. Most of that is looking back to what happened in the spring,” said Dr. Mackey.

Dr. Mackey says state education leaders will work with UA officials to do this type of survey several times throughout the year to track progress.

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