Millions of students in distance-only learning model have limited contact with teachers

Millions of students across the United States are relying on distance learning for their education, but many aren’t getting live contact from a teacher.

According to a report by USAFacts, 64 percent of households with children enrolled in private or public schools have contact with a teacher at least four days a week. But 11 percent, or roughly 5.5 million students, stated they had no live contact with a teacher over the last seven-day period. Sixty-five percent of those households are using online learning.

The report is based off the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey, which asked adults living with K-12 students education-related questions that included: How the coronavirus pandemic affected how the children in each household have received education for the 2020-2021 school year; how often digital devices are available for children to use for educational purposes; and during the last seven days, how many of those days did the students have live contact with their teachers either in person, by phone, or by video.

As of October 2020 data, 62.4 percent of Minnesota households with children reported using online distance learning. That percentage has likely changed, as school districts continue to shift between learning models and transition to less in-person instruction.