In the time since the COVID-19 pandemic, homeschooling has become America’s fastest growing form of education — even in unexpected places, like New York City.
A new analysis by The Washington Post, based on data from nearly 7,000 school districts collected from the start of the pandemic through the school year that ended this past spring, found Americans in cities around the country — and of various political ideologies — are consistently choosing home education.
The Post’s analysis collected numbers from 32 states and Washington, D.C., representing more than 60% of school-aged children cross the United States. It is important to note, though, that the research from the newspaper isn’t comprehensive, because a handful of states to not collect reliable tallies on homeschooling.
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Perhaps most fascinating are the numbers coming from New York City, a stalwart of progressivism, where one might not expect to see homeschooling flourish. However, the data from The Post found it is home to the fastest growing homeschooling population.
The number of children being homeschooled in New York 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% over the last six years. Brooklyn and the Bronx saw some districts exceed 300% growth.
While homeschooling is fast-growing in New York, Florida features the largest homeschool population among the states for which data was available. The Sunshine State boasts some 154,000 homeschoolers, with Hillsborough County serving as the “capital of American home schooling,” according to The Post.
“The county’s home-schoolers outnumber the entire public enrollment of thousands of other school districts across the country, and their ranks have grown 74 percent since 2017,” read the report. “Over the same period, public school enrollment grew 3.4 percent, to 224,538 students.”
Relatedly, a survey published in April of this year found that younger parents in the U.S. are increasingly interested in teaching their children from home rather than sending them into the public school system.
The analysis, conducted by the edutech company Age of Learning, 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 home-schooling have looked into it because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said the authors of the April study, the New York Post reported. “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.”
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