America is getting a first-hand lesson in homeschooling during the COVID-19 lockdown. A new poll shows that a huge chunk of parents are likely to keep it up. An overwhelming number support school choice. And this could very well be sending a frisson of terror down backs of teachers union leaders everywhere and for very good reason.
Parents have been watching the teachers’ reactions to the lockdowns. In LA, the teachers union leaders groused that virtual schooling thing is too hard and instructors need more money to teach in their PJs. In Boston, before they could teach the kids, the union had to approve the plan. Gee, I can’t imagine where parents could get the idea that the schools are run on behalf of the adults and not the kids. Strange, really.
As famed philosopher and pedagogue, Paris Hilton, once said, “Math is hard.” And all you read in the media are parental horrors stories about trying to teach math.
Stunning Poll Results About Homeschooling and Distance Learning
But the shocking poll, by RealClear Opinion Research, shows that parents are very receptive to taking their children’s education into their own hands whether it be homeschooling or nontraditional education sources. The national poll of 2,122 registered voters showed that parents of all social, economic, and political backgrounds support school choice and 40% are more likely to homeschool.
The results show that 40% of families are more likely to homeschool or virtual school after lockdowns, and that 64% support school choice and 69% support the federal Education Freedom Scholarships proposal.
Here are some of the numbers in a group made up of mostly minority parents, 45.7% of which are Democrats compared to 42.3% Republican:
Are you 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?
More Likely: 40.8%
Less Likely: 31.1%
Nearly 41% of the parents in this grouping of 626 participants are more likely to opt for choices outside of the traditional government classroom.
Also, there was overwhelming support – 64% – for choice and for educational tax dollars to follow their child to the educational venue of their choice with Republicans favoring it more than Democrats and urbanites overwhelmingly favoring it more than people who live in suburbs. Sixty percent of Democrats in the poll favored school choice.
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?
Race & Ethnicity:
Is Homeschooling a New Normal in Education?
Every single family with kids in school has been incredibly disrupted by the lockdowns. 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. Policymakers should note that there is a strong desire to have these and other educational options available to families, with both strong support for the general concept of school choice and even stronger support for a specific federal proposal, Education Freedom Scholarships.
Sixty-nine percent of the people polled across all racial and social lines believe in Education Freedom Scholarships, which would create a $5 billion annual federal tax credit for voluntary donations to state-based scholarship programs. More than 74% of black and 72% of Hispanic parents in the survey supported this.
The poll was conducted between April 18 and 22 in 2020 during the worst of the lockdowns and when parents were the most fully engaged in their children’s educations.
And parents are learning a lot about homeschooling and distance learning. First, a lot of lip service is paid to “parents are a child’s first teacher,” but with the movement toward womb to tomb education plans, such as mandatory pre-K, obviously that the educational establishment doesn’t put stock in that.
Parents are learning that an entire day of school can be done in fewer than four hours – instead of the 6-7 hours spent on campus. They’re learning teaching is hard, but can be done. They’re learning that there’s a lot of tertiary stuff taught in the classrooms that’s not necessary.
And they’re probably learning that poll results like this rightfully scare the hell out of the educational establishment.