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Homeschooling Continues To Rise Dramatically, WaPo Analysis Shows

Many predicted families would return to public school after the pandemic.

   DailyWire.com
PRODUCTION - 29 April 2021, Berlin: A girl shows her mother a written piece of paper. Photo: Annette Riedl/dpa (Photo by Annette Riedl/picture alliance via Getty Images)
Annette Riedl/picture alliance via Getty Images

Homeschooling has become America’s fastest-growing form of education and continues to explode in popularity long after pandemic-era remote learning has ended, a new Washington Post analysis shows.

The dramatic rise in homeschooling that began during the pandemic continued through the school year that ended this past spring, according to the Post’s analysis, which looked at data from nearly 7,000 school districts across the country.

Homeschooling’s continued popularity flies in the face of predictions that most families would go back to in-person classes at schools once controversial pandemic restrictions like mask mandates ended. Another concern parents had after the pandemic is learning loss in public schools, which may also be driving some families to homeschool.

“Home schooling’s surging popularity crosses every measurable line of politics, geography and demographics,” the Post’s analysis stated.

The analysis looked at data from 32 states and the District of Columbia, which represent more than 60% of school-age children. The data is incomplete because some states do not have reliable tallies of homeschoolers, and 11 states, including Texas, Michigan, Connecticut, and Illinois, do not require families to notify the state when they decide to homeschool.

Nevertheless, the numbers that are available indicate that homeschooling has become a “mainstay of the American educational system,” the Post said.

Before the pandemic, there were 1.5 million homeschoolers in the U.S., according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Now, there are between 1.9 million and 2.7 million homeschoolers in the country, the Post’s analysis estimated.

Only two states, Georgia and Maryland, have seen homeschooling return to pre-pandemic levels.

With more than 154,000 homeschoolers, Florida has the largest homeschool population among the states with available data.

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However, the state with the fastest growth is blue New York, where the homeschool population has more than doubled since 2017 to almost 52,000 kids. Perhaps surprisingly, the trend is moving fastest in deep blue New York City, according to the analysis.

In 24 of New York City’s 33 school districts, the number of homeschooled children rose by at least 200% over six years. Brooklyn and the Bronx saw the highest growth rate — some of those boroughs’ districts saw more than 300% growth.

Homeschooling’s popularity is also not confined to poorly performing public school districts, the analysis found.

Last fall, more than 60,000 students were homeschooled in districts that rank in the top fifth for academic achievement in the country.

Despite homeschoolers often outperforming their public school peers, critics continue to push for more government oversight.

“Many of America’s new home-schooled children have entered a world where no government official will ever check on what, or how well, they are being taught,” the Post noted.

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