Good News: Covid Is Driving More Parents to Homeschool
There might not be a lot to cheer about in 2020. With rioting, looting, and draconian lockdowns, America seems to be on the precipice of social unraveling thanks to misguided policy decisions and the culture of divisiveness fomented by political elites and the media class.
But in any moment of crisis, there are always new avenues for innovation that make people better off. Yes, private individuals can take advantage of precarious situations and turn them around for good purposes. Just look at homeschooling.
In a previous article, I noted that Americans should use the current lockdown mania to explore distinct educational options as opposed to clamoring for schools to be reopened. Americans might actually be getting the memo.
According to certain estimates from Gallup, the percentage of children participating in homeschooling is expected to double based on figures from 2019 to 2020. Further, public schooling has witnessed a concomitant drop in enrollment, with enrollment rates going from 83 percent in 2019 down to 76 percent in 2020.
Parents have every reason to pull their children out of public schools. These institutions are not exactly safe learning environments, nor are they run on a fiscally sound basis. A study from the Manhattan Institute found US per pupil spending has surged in the last fifty years, going from $4,720 in 1966 to $13,847 (in 2018 dollars) in 2016.
Private education is usually viewed as a luxury for the rich. While posh private options such as the Exeter Academy exist, many religious schools provide budget alternatives for families disenchanted with the current school system. The average Catholic school only charges about $8,000 per student, while private schools of other religious denominations charge roughly $10,000. Just like any service available in the private sector, there are diverse choices for families of all economic standings. The same cannot be said about one-size-fits-all public schools, which continue to have money thrown at them regardless of performance.
The education preferences of Americans vary from family to family. Not all parents will turn to private schooling, so many pursue the homeschooling route. Nevertheless, the reasons parents decide to exit the public school system tend to be similar irrespective of which alternative education model they choose. Some parents are sick of the political indoctrination their children receive at public schools. Others have become concerned about the viability of virtual education in addition to the uncertainty of school schedules. For many parents, jumping
Article from Mises Wire