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Homeschooling Doubled During The Pandemic, U.S. Census Survey Finds

Laurel Wamsley, NPR |

In a year when so much about schooling has changed, add this to the list: A significant increase in the number of households where students were homeschooled. That’s according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey, an online survey that asks questions about how the pandemic is changing life in U.S. homes.

When the survey began, the week of April 23-May 5, 2020, 5.4% of U.S. households with school-aged children reported homeschooling. By the fall, that number had spiked: 11.1% of households with school-age children reported homeschooling in the Sept. 30-Oct. 12 survey. The Census Bureau says that figure is twice the number of households that were homeschooling at the start of the 2019-2020 school year.

Homeschooling rates increased most dramatically among respondents who identified as Black. The proportion of Black homeschoolers increased fivefold, from 3.3% in late spring to 16.1% in the fall.

And there was significant variation among states. Alaska, Florida, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New York, Oklahoma, Vermont and West Virginia all saw at least a 9% increase in households homeschooling. Many other states, meanwhile, did not show a significant change.

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