While the number of homeschoolers has doubled in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, public school systems across the U.S. are rapidly losing students.
According to data released last spring by the National Center for Education Statistics, public schools lost more than one million students from the fall of 2019 to the fall of 2020. In other words, enrollment fell from 50.8 million to 49.4 million.
Although the trend may have started before the COVID-19 pandemic, the exodus from public schools certainly sped up during the health crisis.
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Many parents pulled their kids out of the public school systems after educators and administrators flip-flopped repeatedly on virtual versus in-person learning and mask mandates from 2020 into 2021.
The mishandling of the government-sanctioned education system saw parents enrolling their children in private and charter schools. And about five million children are now homeschooled.
In addition to frustrating COVID-related policies, viral social media accounts like “Libs of TikTok” have alerted parents to concerning — and oft-sexually explicit — content being taught to their young children.
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For example, in May of last year, a rattled mother in Las Vegas appeared at a Clark County School District board meeting, where she began to read an excerpt from the “pornographic” content in her daughter’s alleged class assignment. Ironically, the content was so graphic, mother Kandra Evans’ microphone was turned off before a district official told her such “profanity” was not permitted during the meeting.
Evans then asked, “If you don’t want me to read it to you, what was it like for my 15-year-old daughter to have to memorize pornographic material?”
Like many, that case gained nationwide attention via social media.
In yet another instance, the plaintiffs of a lawsuit from the same time alleged a school district in Kansas City, Kansas, forced educators to lie by hiding children’s gender identities from their parents.
Actor and filmmaker Kirk Cameron, creator of the recently released documentary “The Homeschool Awakening,” is certainly not surprised by parents’ turn toward homeschooling.
“If you look at the public education system, removing prayer from schools, removing God and the Bible from school and replacing those things with progressive ideas, like the critical race theory, gender theory, and teaching children to decide whether or not they prefer to be a boy or a girl, to choose their own pronouns, and separating parents from their children’s understanding of sexuality and when and how they’re exposed to explicit material, these are the kinds of things that parents are saying we’re not down for this anymore,” he told CBN News last summer.
Cameron added, “The public school system has broken trust with us as parents, these kids are precious. God’s given them to us, and we need to do better for them. And so millions are now successfully homeschooling their kids or taking them to private schools that can actually pass on their values, not undermine them.”