"When one is at war, it is not wise to let the enemy educate your children."
Prepare for a mass exodus from public education and a huge reduction in college applications in the next few years.
The pandemic has opened the eyes of many people and whether you agree with them or not the trend is not going to go away.
Some consider the recent time at home as an eye opening experience. Many students are more happy, and not as stressed, many parents are happy to have had the extra time with their children. Families have spent more time together, participated in more at home projects and have bonded more as a result of the pandemic shutdown. This will be a pull factor that will lead to more home schooling.
Many families have come to realize that it is possible to get three quality hours of coursework done on average each day and now question sending their children away for 8 and 9 hours per day. This will also be a contributing pull factor, more time for self discovery and situational learning through life experiences through family outings suddenly makes sense on multiple levels.
With parents being unemployed or working from home as a result of the pandemic, many realized that they can participate in the education of their child in more meaningful ways than just assisting with homework. A family garden project, home renovation, crafts, and other home projects can serve as an integral part of a educational development, parents as a result of the shutdown, are starting to realize this.
Some are being driven away out of concern for bullying, drugs, violence and other issues that might impact their child negatively. However, one of the biggest factors contributing to this mass exodus is the fact that many see the education system as indoctrination centers for leftist ideology. This is especially true for our colleges and universities, which overwhelmingly promote, endorse and actively espouse left leaning dogma. The public education system, K-12, while not as overt as our colleges and universities, still is under the influence of powerful teachers unions and appears to serve a leftist agenda through curriculum, textbooks and by promoting a one size fits all agenda. This perception of education in our country is leading many to reconsider how, where and who should be educating their children. The recent surge of Marxist philosophy on full display in our streets and on our campuses are making many moderate to conservative parents make the move to private, online or home schooling alternatives. After all, why would you let the enemy educate your children?
Regardless of the reason or reasons, it is estimated that there will be a 33% decline in the number of teaching jobs by 2024. The cause for this suspected decline? Home-Schooling!
This is not something that just happened, on the contrary, with the advent of more technological advances and the availability and affordability of online programs, the potential to provide a quality education for your child has greatly increased. Parents who once said, "I can't do that," or parents who said "I can't afford it," have suddenly realized that they are capable of pulling it off. This, along with the freedom that comes with home-schooling is starting to shape up as an attractive option for many families.
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So, what kind of changes can we expect to see? It is currently estimated that we could see anywhere from a 5% to a 15% migration to home-schooling with the beginning of the 2020 academic school year. Normally, these numbers wouldn't be this high, despite a growing trend, but, due to the pandemic, the migration is being accelerated. It is important to note that a migration of 2 to 3% would have a huge impact on our economy as well as educational budgeting. If the current expectation of a 5% to 15% migration takes place, education as we know it, will be adversely impacted at the K-12 level.
Research shows that affluent families are the first to pull their children from public education, followed by middle income families. Now that home-schooling is more affordable and reasonable, more middle income families have the confidence to venture into the arena. Which naturally would lead to a greater reduction on funds per school district. This could leave us with a public education system that caters primarily to families at the lower end of the socioeconomic spectrum. Knowing that a lower socioeconomic status is directly correlated to lower test scores, this could put public education in a scenario in which it would have great difficulty in ever winning back those that migrate away. After all, why would anyone want to attend a public school when it continuously has poor test scores and a high drop out rate?
(This is not to say that students who come from a lower socioeconomic status cannot achieve at a higher level. On the contrary, what we are suggesting is that a mass exodus could potentially leave public schools with a pool of students comprised predominantly of students from a lower socioeconomic status, which is known to result in lower scores and higher drop out rates, thusly putting the public schools at a huge competitive disadvantage in regards to winning back home schooled students.)
Another unexpected change that could come as a result of this mass exodus is the reduction of extracurricular activities, especially sports. Fewer students equals fewer funds, with operational expenses, salaries and tax payer funded pensions, money will be even more scarce, which could lead to the elimination of high school athletics and other extracurricular activities. The current pandemic is already making liability a huge issue, not only in the classroom but also on the field and on the court. If the pandemic sticks around too long, some sports programs would not recover and could be eliminated. Presently, there are numerous high schools across the country that have either been closed or consolidated due to parents choosing virtual learning over in school learning. It doesn't require much thought to conclude that fear of Covid-19 liability plus virtual learning eventually means no sports. Today, non scholastic arhletics is the norm in most European countries, if students wish to play sports in those countries they participate or join a club team outside of or not affiliated with their respective schools. This appears to be the future for American athletics as well.
I am not a prophet, but I do observe trends and this is a trend that is undeniable. With concern over the pandemic, and multiple other variables, parents are and will continue to pull their children from the public school system. What this exodus will do to education remains to be seen, but the reform within our educational system that so many have asked for appears to be taking place at hyper speed and oddly enough it was a pandemic that jump started that reform.