Berkeley Poll Finds Support for School Vaccine, Mask Mandates

A survey from the University of California, Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies examined a range of issues related to how K-12 schools are handling the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The poll was administered online in early February among 8,937 California registered voters.

The poll’s primary findings include:

  • Overwhelming support among the state’s voters for adding COVID-19 to the list of required vaccinations for K-12 students and requiring students, teachers, and staff to wear masks while in school this year. However, there are large partisan and ideological differences in vies about both policies. Greater than eight in 10 of the state’s liberal voters are supportive while only about one in four approve of the policies among the state’s conservative voters.
  • Parents of school-aged children display broad support for allowing in-person instruction to proceed at their child’s own school with 79 percent in favor. Yes, a significant portion of parents (37 percent) report that they are not confident that their child is safe from the virus in school with Latino and Black parents expressing less confidence than white and Asian parents.
  • When parents are asked about the importance of having their own school-aged child vaccinated against COVID-19, 64 percent feel this is essential or important but 26 percent do not. Asian parents are more likely than others to feel that it is essential to have their child vaccinated.
  • Among the overall electorate, strong bipartisan agreement exists that COVID-19 has had a negative impact on the educational quality of public schools in their own area. Nearly three in four voters statewide hold this view.
  • Voters, by a greater than two-to-one margin, believe schools should be given the flexibility to decide when to continue in-person instruction rather than adopting a policy of requiring that in-person instruction be cancelled when COVID-19 cases rise above a certain threshold.

According to the Berkeley IGS, the survey results indicate that widespread concerns remain about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on K-12 education but significant partisan differences exist when voters are asked about how schools should respond to the pandemic.

The full survey results are available here.