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Popularity of homeschooling surging in surprising places

It’s no surprise that homeschooling has become increasingly popular since the pandemic. What is surprising is that it is growing even in large cities and among a range of political ideologies.

The Washington Post” examined data from 32 states and the District of Columbia. Unexpectedly, homeschooling is growing the fastest in New York. The number of children being homeschooled in New York state has more than doubled since 2017 and, in New York City in particular, 24 of the city’s 33 school districts have seen the number of homeschoolers increase by 200 percent over the last six years. Brooklyn and the Bronx saw some districts exceed 300 percent growth. Nationwide, it has increased 50%.

Florida features the largest homeschool population among the states for which data were available. The Sunshine State boasts some 154,000 homeschoolers, with Hillsborough County serving as the “capital of American homeschooling,” the story said.

“The county’s homeschoolers outnumber the entire public enrollment of thousands of other school districts across the country, and their ranks have grown 74 percent since 2017,” the report said. “Over the same period, public school enrollment grew 3.4 percent, to 224,538 students.”

The growth of homeschooling is exploding in blue states as well as the deepest red. There was a 78% growth in California, 103% in New York, 108% in the nation’s capitol and 91% in Rhode Island. In Kansas it was 57% and South Dakota 94%. There was no data available form many states like Missouri, Iowa or Texas.

According to the Post: “In 390 districts included in The Post’s analysis, there was at least one home-schooled child for every 10 in public schools during the 2021-2022 academic year, the most recent for which district-level federal enrollment data are available. That’s roughly quadruple the number of districts that had rates that high in 2017-2018, signifying a sea change in how many communities educate their children and an urgent challenge for a public education system that faced dwindling enrollment even before the pandemic.”

A survey published in April found that younger parents in the United States are increasingly interested in teaching their children from home rather than sending them into the public school system. The analysis found that seven in 10 moms and dads under 26 years old would prefer to homeschool their kids to provide them with a “safer environment” and protect them from “toxic socialization.”

“Many families who never would have considered homeschooling have looked into it because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the authors of the report said. “As a result, many who felt they couldn’t balance a job with being a home educator discovered that not only was it doable, but it was preferable for the flexibility and increased time spent with their children.”

The newspaper now estimates, based on figures, there could be as many as 2.7 million homeschooled children in the United States.

Reports the post, “It is a remarkable expansion for a form of instruction that 40 years ago was still considered illegal in much of the country.”

–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice


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