3 of 4 Bexar County parents say schools should continue to enforce masks, poll says

73% of likely voters with kids say masks should be required for students, teachers and staff when inside classroom

(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

SAN ANTONIOEditor’s note: The Bexar Facts-KSAT-San Antonio Report poll is a partnership that launched in Feb. 2020 with the aim of informing and engaging the San Antonio community. See the results of the fifth poll here.

Roughly three out of four Bexar County parents say schools should continue to enforce masks while they are inside the classroom, according to a new Bexar Facts-KSAT-San Antonio Report poll released this week.

According to the poll, 73% of likely voters with children under 19 either “strongly agreed” or “somewhat agreed” with a continued classroom face mask policy. Another 25% said they disagreed with mandating masks in classrooms.

San Antonio-area school districts had to make their choice following Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s announcement that the statewide mask mandate would end on March 10. Since that time, each school district has updated their requirements for students and teachers for the remainder of the school year. A list of the district’s decisions can be found on KSAT.com here.

The San Antonio suburb of New Braunfels shows the clear divide and the difficulty in meeting the desires of parents, teachers and students. The New Braunfels Independent School District and the Comal Independent School District, both found near each other, recently landed on opposite sides of the face-covering debate.

The poll was conducted from March 23-29 by phone and internet in both English and Spanish. It includes responses from 618 registered Bexar County voters of different income and education levels, race, age, gender and political party affiliation. Only those who said they have children — about a third of respondents — were asked the questions about education. The poll’s margin of error is 4%. Read more about the methodology here.

Remote learning

It was roughly a year ago at this time that students and teachers were forced out of the classroom due to the coronavirus pandemic. Since then, many students have continued with remote learning while some have returned to campus.

School districts require teachers to deliver live virtual lessons to kids at home, as well as a combination of prerecorded videos, self-guided assignments and paper packets.

Last year, a Bexar Facts poll last year found 63% of respondents believed that school districts were doing a good job in ensuring that students had equal access to the Internet. That has since risen in 2021 to 68% of respondents.

That confidence, however, doesn’t appear to have carried over with student retention, according to the poll.

More families now feel like their children have fallen behind academically within the past year than last year. More than 50% of parents now feel like their child is behind, after only previously 39% of respondents feeling that way a year ago.

Bexar Facts poll educational data. (KSAT)

Read more from the poll on our Bexar Facts page:

Vaccine hesitancy among Bexar County residents has fallen by half in 6 months, Bexar Facts poll says

‘Wide open:’ Bexar Facts poll shows many San Antonio voters still undecided on Proposition B

Bexar Facts poll: Mayor Ron Nirenberg leads challenger Greg Brockhouse 56-21 among likely San Antonio voters


About the Author:

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