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The Public School Pandemic Plunge: Parents of 1.4 Million Kids Fled in Pursuit of Private Schools, Homeschooling

Chinese Empty Classroom

New information reveals the pandemic convinced hundreds of thousands of families to abandon the public schools, after they closed their doors for remote learning, and pursue new educational options for their children. 

As the pandemic raged, parents across the country turned away from normal public schools to try homeschooling, private schools, and even charter schools. 

In fact, 240,000 new students enrolled in charter schools alone. In a new report, the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (NAPCS) announced charter school enrollment had a 7.1% growth last year, which was the largest expansion for the charter school industry in the last five years. Charter schools are publicly funded but they're run by privately-owned companies. 

"Nearly 240,000 new students enrolled in these innovative, student-centered public schools, despite a sharp decrease in overall public school enrollment during the same period," the organization said. "Of the 42 states evaluated, 39 experienced charter school enrollment increases, while only three saw modest decreases. By comparison, district school enrollment dropped precipitously in every state."
The Daily Wire reported the United States Department of Education found that enrollment in public schools "fell by its largest margin in at least two decades" — a drop representing a 3% loss in enrollment between the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years. 

Education Week reached out to 51 state departments of education and found that every state saw a drop in enrollment — in total, 1.4 million students left their public schools.

As noted by the NAPCS, "families want more, not fewer choices." One of those choices was a private Christian education and Christian schools shined during the pandemic.  

As CBN's Faithwire reported, only 8% of public schools never closed their doors. But 26% of parents with kids in Christian schools say their school never closed down, according to a survey by the Herzog Foundation released late last month. 

"Parents of children in Christian schools are far more satisfied with their child's education during COVID than the parents of children in public schools," reported the study's authors, Todd Graves and Jacob Hawkins.

A whopping 80% of Christian school parents are satisfied with their children's experiences, while 55% of parents with kids in public schools are satisfied. The study also revealed, though, that 41% of public school parents are "unsatisfied with their child's education during COVID."

"The survey found that, during the pandemic, Christian school parents found it easier to manage their child's time, communicate with teachers, manage their child's assignments, and were better able to keep up their child's morale than the parents of children in public schools," Graves wrote in a column for RealClear Education.

As noted earlier, more and more parents are also deciding to homeschool their children as many moms are choosing to stay at home.  

When it was time for children to go back to school this fall after the pandemic seemed to be winding down, some reports indicate hundreds of thousands of parents across the nation decided to keep their kids at home. As a result, the number of children being homeschooled has doubled in just the past two years. 

The numbers don't lie. The National Home Education Research Institute says two years ago, there were approximately 2.5 million students being homeschooled.  Today, that number is now at nearly 5 million. 

As CBN News reported, a U.S. Census Bureau report found that homeschooling doubled during COVID, including a jump in Black families switching to home education for the first time.

A common theme for a number of parents is that their kids performed well while homeschooling and they don't want to change that.

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