Roughly 3 out of 4 Bexar County parents say distance learning has improved since spring, poll says

72% of respondents say districts are doing either ‘much better’ or ‘somewhat better’

SAN ANTONIOEditor’s note: This story is part of a series reporting on the latest Bexar Facts poll. Find more coverage on our Bexar Facts page.

Roughly three out of four Bexar County parents say distance learning has improved since the first attempt last spring, according to a new Bexar Facts-KSAT-San Antonio Report poll released this week.

According to the Bexar Facts poll, 72% of respondents think school districts are doing either a “much better” or “somewhat better” job during this round of virtual learning.

Students and teachers were forced out of the classroom at the end of the last school year due to the coronavirus pandemic and many students have continued remote-learning when school started again this fall.

Some of the changes by school districts this year included requiring teachers to deliver live virtual lessons to kids sitting at home and using a combination of prerecorded videos, self-guided assignments and paper packets to reach students who are learning remotely.

The Bexar Facts poll found 63% of respondents also believe that school districts have done a good job ensuring that students have equal access to the Internet. At the start of this school year, many San Antonio area districts gave out hot spots and Chromebooks or iPads to students, with some educators having gone as far as going to families’ doorsteps to make sure they haven’t been left behind. Teachers and staff have taught parents, grandparents and students how to log into virtual classrooms.

Other findings in the Bexar Facts poll showed 75% of families feel well-prepared to support children in distance learning, with 39% of respondents feeling like their child has fallen behind academically within the past five months.

In July, the University of Texas at San Antonio did a study that found the biggest challenge in educating students remotely revolved around how to engage students and make sure that they turned in their assignments. Sixty percent of teachers in that poll said students turned in assignments less frequently then when compared to students who were in face-to-face classes.

Bexar Facts poll on virtual learning. (KSAT)

A majority of respondents in the Bexar Facts poll agreed that the number of students allowed in a classroom at a time should be limited with 85% in support of restricting the number of students. Seventy-seven percent of those polled also agree that teachers deserve higher salaries, even if it meant paying more in taxes.

Bexar Facts Poll participants weighed in on a wide range of issues, such as the city and county’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. To view the full survey, click here.

The poll was conducted from Sept. 17-21 by phone and internet in both English and Spanish. It includes responses from 619 registered Bexar County voters of different income and education levels, race, age, gender and political party affiliation. The poll’s margin of error is 4%.

Did you not get called for the poll, but still want to have your voice heard? Take the poll, via Bexar Facts, here.

About the Author:

Ben Spicer is a digital journalist who works the early morning shift for KSAT.