Skubick: Does population or politics sway where students take classes?


LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – As parents decide whether to keep their students at home or send them into the classroom, a new Michigan State University study suggests those decisions are linked to the political leanings of the parents.  

The MSU research suggests that if Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton got 20% or more of the vote in a particular region of the state, those parents are, in part, deciding whether to send their kids into the classroom based on their political leanings.

Out of the 823 districts that were reviewed 71% of the parents in the Trump districts want their children back in school while 5% want them at home on the Internet.

Conversely, 41% of the parents in Hillary Clinton areas want an in-person education for their children while 21% want remote classes.

So Trump parents are 1.7% more likely to favor in-person learning.

Based on the data reviewed by the School Board Association, 75% of the parents have chosen a five day school week in-person. 

Although in this area the bulk of the schooling will be online.

Don Wotruba, CEO of the Michigan Association of School Boards explains, “Even if we leave the Lansing area and go up north to St. Johns, Westphalia, and the like you find that parents are sending kids back to school.”

Skubick: “So the further away from large populated regions, the more likely in-school learning is the choice?”

Wotruba: “That’s what we are seeing.”

Mr. Wotruba thinks the key factor in this decision is based on the population of school districts.

“I don’t know that parents are making their child’s decision based on politics.”

One thing for sure, kids in schools will get sick.

“I think that was to be expected but as long as the schools have a safety protocol and isolated the student, quarantine those who were exposed, the greater the chance they can continue providing education,” says Wotruba.

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