According to a recent poll from Bexar Facts, a growing amount of parents feel like their children are falling behind academically. Credit: Bonnie Arbittier / San Antonio Report

More than half of Bexar County residents surveyed in the latest Bexar Facts/KSAT/San Antonio Report poll say their children have fallen behind academically in the past year, an increase from a previous poll conducted in the fall.

More respondents also strongly or somewhat agreed that local school districts have done a good job of ensuring all students have access to the internet for remote learning, with 68% total agreeing. That is up from 63% in the fall.

The survey of 618 registered voters in Bexar County was conducted March 23-29. Fifty-one percent of parents said they felt their kids had fallen behind academically in the past year as the coronavirus pandemic forced schools to switch to remote learning last spring and limited in-person teaching this school year, while 47% said they disagreed with that statement.

The poll conducted in September found that 39% of parents felt their children had fallen behind academically in the past five months. The latest poll results indicate parents believe their kids continued to fall behind as the school year progressed.

San Antonio area school districts started working in February to bring back more students to learn in person as Bexar County’s coronavirus positivity rate dipped below 10%. San Antonio Independent School District prioritized students who were struggling the most with remote instruction. Superintendent Pedro Martinez said last week that his goal is to have 70% to 80% of students back in classrooms by the end of the school year, up from about 50% currently.

Meanwhile, the recent poll found 73% of registered Bexar County voters surveyed think local schools should continue to require students, teachers, and staff members to wear face masks in the classroom. The poll was conducted less than two weeks after Gov. Greg Abbott lifted the statewide mask mandate and the Texas Education Agency allowed school boards to decide whether to require masks.

Most San Antonio school districts decided to keep their mask mandates in place for students, staff, and visitors. The Comal ISD school board in New Braunfels voted last month to rescind its face-covering requirement.

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Brooke Crum

Brooke Crum covered education for the San Antonio Report.