National Survey of Public Education’s Response to COVID-19

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Across the nation, educators are responding valiantly to an unprecedented health crisis and its ramifications for students, educators, and communities. Leaders and staff are charting new courses for this unique time.

All of us—students, parents, educators, policy makers, and researchers—share an interest in learning from this event. To improve services to students and families as we move forward, we need information on what districts and charter management organizations are doing and plan to do to address COVID-19.


The main goals of this project are to document this moment in education and to provide actionable information to educators, policymakers, and researchers to inform future education practices beyond the initial public health crisis.

Project Activities

Learn more about the survey: Want to know more? Contact the team at

2020: In summer 2020, we asked school district and charter management organization leaders to respond to a nationally representative survey of school districts and charter management organizations—more than 2,500 in total—about the actions they have taken and the challenges they have encountered during the COVID-19-related school closures.

The 2020 survey addressed how school districts and charter management organizations coped with issues related to school closures, including the timing of school closures due to COVID-19; distance learning approaches and challenges; supporting students with disabilities and English learners; district policies and requirements, such as grading and graduation; staffing and human resources; and health, well-being, and safety.

2021: In late January through early April, the team administered a survey to all school districts across the U.S. This survey addressed instructional approaches, student engagement and participation, supports for student learning, and priorities and challenges.

In spring 2021, the team conducted interviews with school district administrators on a variety of topics including the virtual options available for next school year, methods to alleviate staff shortages and teacher burnout, assessing the extent of and mitigating “loss in expected learning,” meeting the needs of students with disabilities and English language learners, providing social emotional support for students and teachers, and actions taken to ensure equity and social justice for families in the community.

In summer and fall 2021, the team will share study findings widely in order to assist education practitioners and policymakers in their decisionmaking for the 2021-2022 school year.|

Study Results

Infographic (June 2021)

Research Briefs (June/July 2021)

Screenshot of COVID-19 Survey Data ToolInteractive Data Tool

This data exploration tool provides actionable data to educators, policymakers, and researchers to inform future education practices beyond the initial public health crisis.  (The tool currently displays data for districts; data for charter management organizations will be part of a future update.)

Research Brief (April 2021)

Research Briefs (February 2021)

Research Briefs (October 2020)

Preliminary Results (July 2020)

Technical Supplements


Podcast: Communications Lead Sarah Rand shares crucial findings from the research briefs and how schools can take action to promote more equitable learning opportunities for all students. Listen to the podcast.

Podcast: Listen to AIR senior researcher Dia Jackson discuss the results and AIR's research into other district and charter network responses in the wake of the pandemic.

Webinar: How COVID-19 Affected Education for Students with Disabilities and English Learners—The Latest Results from a National Survey (October 21, 2020) View the presentation slides (PDF).

Image of four logos for survey supporters

Letters of Support

AASA, The School Superintendents Association (PDF)
Council of Chief State School Officers (PDF)
Education Commission of the States (PDF)
National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (PDF)