A number of folks are bidding farewell to public education.
According to a report by The New York Times, some states are seeing their public school students find other means.
The headline says a lot: “U.S. Public School Enrollment Drops as Parents, Frustrated by Lockdown, Pull Their Children Out”
Massachusetts, for one, has seen shrinkage to the tune of 37,000 kids — a 4% decrease.
North Carolina’s enrollment is down by the same percentage, having begun the school year at a deficit of 5%.
In the case of The Baked Bean State, sign-ups for pre-kindergarten students are a whopping 30% below normal, while kindergarten’s been tapered by 12%.
As noted by The Daily Wire, “While younger students make up the highest proportion of those no longer enrolled in the public school system in both North Carolina and Massachusetts, other grades have also been experiencing the public school enrollment decline.”
Massachusetts Association of School Committees Executive Director Glenn Koocher told the Times the exiting youths are taking a variety of alternate paths toward diplomas:
“In some cases, the charter schools are taking them, in some cases privates and parochials.”
But there’s an even larger “tragedy”:
“The bigger tragedy is that some kids aren’t getting anything, because they’ve fallen off the map.”
The change is no surprise. While in-class learning (when and where available) has lost luster due to social distancing and other coronavirus precautions, the pandemic has put people at home like never before. Many have seen the light of a different mode of living. And online classes are just a hop, skip, and jump away from homeschool.
Beyond that, could there be more reasons for the reduction? Have families grown closer, in a way that’s made them reconsider their approach to life? Have parents become more aware of what their locals schools are teaching, and not in the impressed kind of way?
Given signs such as Los Angeles’s new lifestyle restrictions and Pennsylvania’s Health Secretary’s forecast of mask-wearing through 2021, I’d bet on more public school withdrawal upcoming.
As for when (if?) the coronavirus clampdown goes away, will the trend continue? Will families wanna send junior back to the local state institution?
Surely some will not.
And to be clear, Massachusetts and NC aren’t the only areas seeing students step away. Wisconsin, Montana, and Missouri are experiencing the same.
Last month, Utah, Houston, and D.C. all saw a drop.
It’s hard to imagine everything going back to the way it was pre-COVID. Youngsters have continued to learn outside of conventional means, just as employees and employers have found that the trek to the office, for many, was wholly unnecessary all along.
Regardless, one might expect certain interested parties to do all they can to keep kids in the public domain — otherwise, how can the leaders of tomorrow be told what to think?
More pointedly, though there may be alternative ways to school your children and teens, it’s hard to argue that the public system can really be replaced. After all, you’d have to come up with something that can match these moves:
Better get to it, mom and dad — there’s woke work to be done.
Sources: Red State: People Are Pulling Their Kids Out of Public Schools