Around four in 10 families say they are “more likely” to homeschool their children after the lockdown ends, according to a new survey that also found widespread support for school choice.
The Real Clear Opinion Research poll was conducted April 18-21 and asked 626 parents if they are “more or less likely to enroll your son or daughter in a homeschool, neighborhood homeschool co-op, or virtual school once the lockdowns are over?”
A total of 40.8 percent of parents said they are more likely, while 31.1 percent said they are less likely. A majority of Asians (53.8 percent) and blacks (50.4 percent) said they are more likely to homeschool, while more than a third of Hispanic parents (38.2 percent) and whites (36.3 percent) also answered “more likely.”
The question for parents was part of a larger survey of 2,122 registered voters.
John Schilling, president of the American Federation of Children, said the poll should inform policy decisions.
“Every single family with kids in school has been incredibly disrupted by the lockdowns,” Schilling said. “With 55 million students no longer in their normal educational setting, families are clearly considering new options and many are seeing the benefits of homeschooling and virtual schooling.”
Meanwhile, 64 percent of registered voters said they support school choice. Voters were asked, “School choice gives parents the right to use the tax dollars designated for their child’s education to send their child to the public or private school which best serves their needs. Generally speaking, would you say you support or oppose the concept of school choice?”
Support for school choice was highest among blacks (67.6 percent), whites (64.4 percent) and Hispanic voters (63.4 percent).
Policymakers, Schilling said, “should note that there is a strong desire to have these and other educational options available to families.”
“This is the time for leadership and for desperately needed bold reforms to be implemented across our K-12 education system,” Schilling said. “Millions of families are seeing the inadequacies of school districts that are too inflexible. We owe it to our nation’s families and students to give them more flexibility and additional educational options.
“Moreover, policymakers owe it to the taxpayers who are footing the $800 billion K-12 education bill to maximize their investment by ensuring every child has access to a quality education and outcomes are improved across the board.”
The American Federation for Children, according to its mission statement, seeks “to empower families, especially lower-income families, with the freedom to choose the best K-12 education for their children.”
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Vadimguzhva
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, The Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.