Burbio - US K-12 School Opening Tracker W/O 9/28: 50%+ Virtual

Where there have been  state-wide bans on in person learning, the decision to have in person schooling is a multi-step process.  A state level regulation allowing schools to open is the beginning - a discussion then ensues at the local level among all stake-holders. 



%  US K-12 Students attending 'Virtual only" schools = 53%
%  US K-12 Students Attending 'Traditional In person/Every day" schools = 27%
%  US K-12 Students Attending "Hybrid" Schools = 20%
Trends and observations:

1) August saw a shift to Virtual as large districts such as Hawaii, Dallas, small cities in the Northeast, Boston and parts of the Midwest reversed announced in-person plans.  Burbio's launched the audit showing 52% "virtual only" on August 11th and it shifted dramatically as the month went on and increased to 62 percent by Labor Day.   

2) Post Labor Day, Sun Belt areas of Texas, Georgia, and Florida, converted to in -person from virtual starts.  They had announced this in August - and we noted it in our   Labor Day release announcing that 62% of students were attending "Virtual only" schools-  and they went through with it - a significant data point. 

3) During the balance of  September and into early October, we continue to see areas of the Sun Belt moving to in person, but also shifts in states such as California, Illinois  the Northeast and previously virtual-only Arizona. 'Virtual-only' districts talk about the future three ways a) "We are going to move to  in-person learning XYZ date" b) "We are going to revisit this decision on this date" c) Or they are not saying anything yet.  

Where there have been  state-wide bans on in person learning, the decision to have in person schooling is a multi-step process.  A state level regulation allowing schools to open is the beginning - a discussion then ensues at the local level among all stake-holders.   It's a bit fluid and varies by state, but "XYZ state allows schools to have in person learning" does not mean "Schools are now having in person learning in XYZ state"

Nationally, it appears all large "virtual only" districts will either be revisiting plans by January or saying "we are virtual until" a date that is January or earlier.  

4) Covid closures are not yet moving the percentages.  They vary from one day cleaning to two week closures; most are individual school closures.   

5) Our data is presented as "students attending schools that offer this learning plan" - most districts offer virtual even when providing in person.   Where reported the numbers of students "opting out" of in person learning is below 20% and in many cases they aren't being discussed at all.  That said - NYC is seeing a large percentage of students "opt out" of their yet-to-be launched hybrid plan and it's a trend we are watching closely as larger urban districts consider in person schooling. 

Some recent press mentions:

 

The data has been cited by  CNBC in August when it was announced  and since in CNBC stories about  racial inequality in education   and the impact of virtual learning on retail sales.  Axios   led with the data in  a piece on virtual learning glitches;  Bloomberg  in multiple stories as well as  NPR,  Politico   and USA Today.    Burbio has also been cited by Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in a recent newsletter  as well as CNBC in a piece about working parents and virtual education.   and the USC Center for Health Journalism.   We have also shared data with the CDC, HHS, and the Department of Education at the Federal level.  

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