Homeschooling Numbers in Alaska Have Nearly Doubled Since Last Year

In this Oct. 9, 2019 photo, Donya Grant, upper right, works on homeschool lessons with her children, Rowyn, 11, left, Mabry, 8, second from left, and Kemper, 14, right, in their home in Monroe, Wash. The family joined a lawsuit against the Monroe School District and others, alleging that the …
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

The number of Alaska students who are homeschooled has nearly doubled since last year, 22 percent having switched to that method as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to a report at Must Read Alaska, the number of students in the state now enrolled in homeschooling has climbed from 14,161 to 27,702 since last year.

The report noted the new homeschooling families are not simply engaged in remote learning instruction associated with their local school districts but are participating in programs such as IDEA Homeschool, Raven Homeschool, and Calvert Homeschool.

In both the cities of Juneau and Anchorage, enrollment in local schools since the pandemic has dropped 11 percent, as parents searched for education options that served their children better than distance learning:

More parents in the United States have chosen homeschooling as a result of exploring education options during school closures amid the pandemic.

Texas Home School Coalition (THSC), for example, saw 15 times the number of public school families withdraw from public school to the homeschool option this past July through its website’s online withdrawal tool compared to the number of families who withdrew in July 2019:

In July 2019, THSC processed 201 withdrawals from public school. One year later, however, the homeschool advocacy group processed 3,114 withdrawals, a 15-fold increase.

A poll released in April by school choice advocate EdChoice found 52 percent of parents had a more favorable view of homeschooling, with 28 percent labeling their opinion as “much more favorable” and 24 percent stating their view was “somewhat more favorable”:

In August, Gallup reported the number of homeschooling families in the entire United States had doubled from five percent in 2019 to ten percent in 2020.

Gallup stated it defined homeschooling in its survey as “not enrolled in a formal school, but taught at home” so as to distinguish homeschooling from remote learning programs provided by schools.

According to the poll, public school attendance has dropped seven points, from 83 to 76 percent, since last year. Private school attendance has dropped from seven to six percent since last year, as parochial school attendance declined from four to two percent. Charter school attendance, however, saw an uptick from two to five percent.

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