Home Schooling is More Widespread Than Many Realize, New Research Finds
From: the Education Policy Analysis Archives (EPAA) and the Education Policy Studies Laboratory (EPSL) at Arizona State University
Kurt J. Bauman 301-457-2464
Demographer, US Census Bureau
Professor Alex Molnar, Director
Education Policy Studies Laboratory
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TEMPE, Ariz. -- A new review of federal statistics finds that the number of home-schooled children who would otherwise be enrolled in public schools outpaces enrollment in both charter schools and voucher programs.
The article, "Home schooling in the United States: Trends and Characteristics," by Kurt J. Bauman of the US Census Bureau, uses data from the 1994 October Current Population Survey and from the National Household Education Survey of 1996 and 1999.
According to Bauman, home schooling "has established itself as an alternative to regular school for a small set of families and is poised to continue its growth. ...In 1999 around 790,000 children between the ages of 6 and 17 - around 1.7 percent of the population of that age - were being schooled at home, and in the late 1990s the number was apparently growing."
Home schoolers, Bauman found, were more likely to be non-Hispanic White, typically came from households with moderate to high education and income, and were located in the rural or suburban West. Home-schoolers were somewhat more likely to live in families with two adults, with one adult not in the labor force or working part-time.
The author suggests that home-schooling may reflect "an attempt by parents to reclaim the schooling process."
"Unless the needs of parents are met in different ways, it is likely that home schooling will have a large impact on the school as an institution in coming decades," Bauman concludes.
Education Policy Analysis Archives (EPAA) is edited by Dr. Gene Glass. EPAA is a peer-reviewed scholarly journal published entirely without cost to readers since 1993. More than 2,000 persons visit the EPAA website each weekday. Articles are produced in English, Spanish, or Portuguese under the supervision of an editorial board representing scholars from seven nations.
The journal is available on the Internet at: http://epaa.asu.edu
The Education Policy Studies Laboratory (EPSL) at Arizona State University offers high quality analyses of national education policy issues and provides an analytical resource for educators, journalists, and citizens. It includes the Commercialism in Education Research Unit (CERU), the Education Policy Analysis Archives (EPAA), the Education Policy Reports Project (EPRP), the Education Policy Research Unit (EPRU), and the Language Policy Research Unit (LPRU). The EPSL is directed by ASU Professor Alex Molnar.
Visit the EPSL website at http://www.edpolicylab.org
Jimmy Kilpatrick, Editor