To better understand the effects of COVID-19 on American life, the Census Bureau conducted a Household Pulse Survey. Among the findings was a significant increase in the number of Texans opting to homeschool their children.
By the beginning of the 2020-21 school year, 1 in 5 Texans had opted to homeschool, up from 4.5 percent at the end of the 2019-20 school year—a considerable gain, even by national standards.
According to the Texas Homeschool Coalition, there was a 40% increase from the previous year, with 30,000 Texan students opting out of public or charter school in the spring of 2021 and joining homeschooling instead.
Public school systems in Texas are facing challenges because of the rise in homeschooling
There are challenges for public school systems in Texas because of the rise in homeschooling. When a student transfers from a public school to homeschool, the district no longer receives funding for that student even though the district’s operating costs remain the same.
Concerned about the possible proliferation of COVID-19 in schools, some parents decided to try out remote learning to get a feel for what it might be like to educate their children at home. Also, the May 24 school massacre in Uvalde, Texas, which claimed the lives of 19 pupils and two teachers, had prompted some families to decide on the home school their children this year.
Disagreements on addressing issues of racism and sex in the classroom also contributed. As more public school lessons were broadcast to family computers during the lockdown, tensions between families and educators, which were already high, escalated during the pandemic.
Homeschooling procedures are simple for parents
Conservative groups united last spring to oppose critical race theory, a college-level study that investigates the structural nature of racism in laws and culture, and the argument spread to the school board elections that followed. Although it is not taught in schools, critical race theory has become a buzzword used to criticize discussions of race in the classroom.
Choosing to home school in Texas is a straightforward, largely unrestricted process. Parents have a legal obligation to inform their local school district that they will be homeschooling their child if they withdraw their child from public school.
A visual format, such as workbooks or online courses, including reading, spelling, grammar, mathematics, and what the state labels “good citizenship,” is all required. Those who choose to educate their children at home can teach them alone or enroll them in a co-op, where homeschooled kids meet regularly to participate in structured group instruction.