More students are leaving public schools in the United States as more families choose homeschooling.
A paradigmatic case is Texas, which, according to the Texas Education Agency (TEA), has record numbers in this sense. Currently, the proportion of homeschoolers in Texas is between 8 and 10 percent, which corresponds to 500,000 to 620,000 students.
Before the pandemic, between 20,000 and 25,000 students in grades 7 through 12 were homeschooling each year in the Lone Star State. However, since 2020, this number has reached almost 30,000 per year and remains at this level.
Y Homeschooling is becoming increasingly popular not only among white families, but also among minorities According to numbers from the National Home Education Research Institute, about 41% of homeschooling families identify as “nonwhite.”
Parents cite three main reasons for their decision to remove their children from the public school system: Concern for safety in schools, the responsible participation of parents in the education of their children (particularly in relation to values), and the values and conditions of the school environment.
The increase in homeschooling in Texas largely follows national trends, as homeschooling saw a 30% increase in 2021-22 Even though the number of public school students fell by more than 1.2 million in the first two years of the pandemic, according to a study published earlier this year.
The study by the nonprofit research organization Urban Institute finds that private school enrollment increased 4.3% between fall 2019 and fall 2021. Data collected between the 2019-20 school year and the 2021-22 school year showed private school enrollment increased by 30%.
Steven F. Duvall, research director for the Home School Legal Defense Association, said the findings are consistent with other observations about the impact of COVID-19 on home schooling. “We believe that homeschooling is a wonderful way to educate a child and that many hundreds of thousands of families have made this same discovery during the pandemic.”