Today, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) launched a new survey to examine the range of issues facing students and families during school closures in response to Covid-19 in the U.S.
Primarily focused on the Southeast region where the SPLC is based, the survey asks families in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi to describe how they are coping during the pandemic and how their children are receiving educational services.
In March, the pandemic forced schools across the country to close, displacing millions of students across the U.S. and laying bare inequities in resources as some schools and school districts continue to provide meals, education services, and social and emotional supports remotely while others have not.
“To ensure that pre-existing opportunity gaps are not worsened during this pandemic, we must advocate for fully resourcing our public schools to meet students’ learning, health, and mental health needs now and once they return to school,” said Neil Ranu, SPLC senior staff attorney for the children’s rights project. “This starts with a better understanding of how children and families in our region are experiencing this pandemic.”
The survey asks a series of questions to help determine the impact of the pandemic on children and families. This includes the scope of educational services that were provided or offered by schools during the pandemic. The survey also seeks information about the adherence to students’ special education plans. It also asks whether children have had any interactions with U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) or other law enforcement during the pandemic.
The results of the survey, available in English and Spanish, will be used to support and inform the advocacy work of the SPLC’s children’s rights project. Interested organizations can contact the SPLC about using the survey to collect this data in their states at: email@example.com.
The SPLC also created a webpage where families and educators can access resources and find updates about SPLC’s advocacy efforts. Among the resources offered on the website is an educational services tracker that allows families to document the specific educational services their children received during school closures, the time spent on educational activities and the student’s progress and experience.