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Chicagoans strongly back school mask, vaccine mandates, Chicago Index shows – Crain’s Chicago Business

Though Chicagoans remain most unhappy with the condition of Chicago Public Schools, tough requirements for mask-wearing and vaccinations might make them a little more content.

That’s what area voters appear to be signaling in the latest round of The Chicago Index poll, a collaborative effort of Crain’s and The Daily Line conducted by Colorado-based survey company Polco.

Complete results are available online.

According to results from the latest, third-quarter rendition of the survey, 84% of those responding say they support requiring students to wear masks while at school or at school events, 74% of them strongly. Eighty-five percent back that mandate for teachers.

CPS has implemented such a policy, so results indicate those surveyed back the current standard. A nearly identical 84% favor requiring teachers and staff to be vaccinated. The Chicago Teachers Union has not opposed the mandate, which includes an exemption for medical or religious reasons, but has attacked CPS’ overall anti-COVID policies as insufficient.

Those polled were more mixed on another question: how much teaching should be in person as opposed to remote.

Seventy-one percent said teachers should return to the classroom, as most have, but 75% say students also should have the option to attend remotely, something CPS has balked at doing except in unusual cases.

About 12% of the sample said they have changed public schools over COVID. Roughly 21 percent of the sample have school-age children.

While CPS continues to score well below other Chicago-area governments in Chicago Index results, there has been some slippage in satisfaction with the Chicago Park District.

The district has been in the news a lot lately amid a sexual harassment scandal, and the share of those who say they are satisfied or very satisfied with the district has slipped from 81% to 68%.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker continues to get a remarkably high job approval rating of 67% positive. Mayor Lori Lightfoot remains far underwater at 21% positive and 79% negative, about what it’s been all year, with Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle at 44% positive.

The latest round of the survey was conducted from Sept. 7 to 23, with 834 people contacted via email, ads on Facebook and other media, and from respondents to the first two rounds of the poll. The survey has an error margin of plus or minus 4%. Ninety-four percent of respondents said they live Chicago, 6% in the suburbs.

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