The Center for the Next Generation and Parents magazine recently surveyed over 2,100 parents across the country about how the recession and ensuing slow economic recovery has impacted parenthood — from family planning to education choices.
On the education front, 1 in 5 parents indicated they have been unable to provide their children with the quality of education they would like due to the state of the economy. According to the survey findings, private school enrollment in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade increased from 5.9 million in 1995-96 to 6.3 million in 2001-02 before decreasing to 5.5 million in 2009-10.
A Gallup survey released last month determined that more than half of American parents are dissatisfied with American public education — ranking public schools behind private, parochial and charter schools, but ahead of home schooling.
Additionally, 36 percent of respondents to the Parents survey say their kids have had to forgo some of the activities their friends participate in as a result of the recession. The effects are also being felt at the college level — 8 in 10 parents believe college debt is a serious issue. The same number also acknowledged that the federal debt in general will have severe repercussions on the next generation.
“These findings are disturbing because more than ever we need to invest in our next generation — and that includes creating opportunities for parents to have both the income to support their families and the time to spend with their children,” Matt James, president of The Center for the Next Generation, said in a statement. “If our future workforce is going to be competitive, we need to make investments in children today. That is why issues of the family must be front and center during this election cycle: we need to know what President Obama and Governor Romney intend to do to ensure that our children can look forward to a better future.”
The survey also found that 1 in 5 parents of children under 12 decided against having another child due to the economic downturn, and 74 percent feel the government is not doing enough for children.
An overwhelming 90 percent of respondents are of the opinion that a lack of jobs paying enough to support a family is a serious problem plaguing America’s youth.