The Pennsylvania House has advanced legislation introduced by Rep. Jesse Topper, R-Bedford, to expand educational offerings for home-school students.
House Bill 1041 amends the Public School Code of 1949 to permit home education students to take advantage of their local high school by attending up to four academic courses in a school day and participating in co-curricular activities. They also would have access to programs offered at career and technical education centers.
Pennsylvania home-school students currently are permitted to participate in extracurricular activities at the high school in their district.
The number of children being home-schooled has grown from an estimated 13,000 in 1973 to 5 million, according to a report by the National Home Education Research Institute.
The home-school population has grown an estimated 2% to 8% annually, but in 2019 home-schooling began to increase dramatically, the report said.
Faced with ongoing state lockdowns and changing school restrictions last year, frustrated parents increasingly pulled their children out of public schools nationwide and found other educational options for their children, one of which was home-schooling.
According to a new U.S. Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey, a substantial increase in the number of parents who chose to home-school occurred in 2020 compared to 2019. The survey is the first data source to offer both a national and state-level look at the impact of COVID-19 on homeschooling rates, the report states.
Using a large, nationally representative sample of U.S. households, the survey found that home-schooling was notably higher than national benchmarks. It was conducted in phases to assess parental choices over different periods of the school year.
Some public schools are telling parents they can’t withdraw their children to home-school or aren’t following the TEA guidelines for withdrawal, according to a new report published by the Texas Home School Coalition Association (THSC).
The largest statewide advocacy organization for home educators in the state sent a written notice to 9,500 school administrations in August, clarifying the Texas Education Agency policy for student withdrawal.