When it first began 12 years ago, National School Choice Week counted about 150 events around the country. Shelby Doyle, vice president of the group, says 26,000 events are scheduled include a live premiere on YouTube on January 24.
The COVID-19 pandemic pushed many parents to reconsider public schools when the school buildings were closed, and U.S. Census figures show homeschooling has surged from roughly 5% to 11% of families. There is also a push in many state legislatures to give families a portion of the tens of thousands of dollars pouring into failing public school classrooms to make education decisions on their own.
Doyle says much of the public assumes “school choice” is for those who have the funds for private school or for a home-based education.
“But a lot of the ‘choice’ that we raise awareness about are in the public sector,” she explains. “They're free to attend, open to everyone, not to mention the fact that homeschooling is easier than ever with all of the community supports that exist."
For people interested in the topic, the website also offers a state-by-state “State Roadmap” that explains the laws in your state and the education choices available in your own community.