The Daily Chart: Public School Refuseniks

According to one estimate I have seen, in 1973 there were only about 13,000 children being homeschooled. Today the number is over 5 million—and may be much higher, as many states do not track the numbers very carefully.

The Washington Post has noticed, and you can tell they are worried about it. (The left has always hated homeschooling, and the teachers unions rightly understand what a threat homeschooling is to their gravy train, as most public schools derive their revenue by how many students are enrolled.)

Home schooling has become — by a wide margin — America’s fastest-growing form of education, as families from Upper Manhattan to Eastern Kentucky embrace a largely unregulated practice once confined to the ideological fringe, a Washington Post analysis shows.

The analysis — based on data The Post collected for thousands of school districts across the country — reveals that a dramatic rise in home schooling at the onset of the pandemic has largely sustained itself through the 2022-23 academic year, defying predictions that most families would return to schools that have dispensed with mask mandates and other covid-19 restrictions. . .

Home schooling’s surging popularity crosses every measurable line of politics, geography anddemographics. The number of home-schooled kids has increased 373 percent over the past six years in the small city ofAnderson, S.C.; it also increased 358 percent in a school district in the Bronx.

Despite claims that the home-schooling boom is a result of failing public schools, The Post found no correlation between school district quality, as measured by standardized test scores, and home-schooling growth. In fact, high-scoring districts had some of the biggest spikes in home schooling early in the pandemic, though by the fall of 2022 increases were similar regardless of school performance.

Yeah, Post—you just keep going with that explanation, as if this doesn’t represent a massive across-the-board No Confidence vote in public schools. Here’s what the numbers look like, and note especially how much home schooling has soared in deep blue states like California and New York:

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