During the COVID-19 pandemic, homeschooling enrollment in New York dramatically increased. Since the end of the pandemic, homeschooling enrollment has dipped here in the Empire State, but the decrease has been fairly slight. While pandemic-era restrictions may have given some parents the initial motivation to try homeschooling, it appears that many families liked homeschooling well enough to continue with it even after the pandemic was over.
As a recent report by Emily D’Vertola of the Empire Center notes, data from the Washington Post show that homeschooling enrollment has increased 50% across the nation since the 2017-2018 schoolyear. In New York, however, homeschooling has more than doubled during that same time period. The growth of homeschooling is especially noticeable in New York City. Since 2017-2018, homeschooling enrollment more than tripled in 24 of New York City’s 33 school districts. In 2022, more than 50,000 students in New York were homeschooled; more than 14,000 of those students resided in New York City.
Statewide, homeschooling enrollment in New York has grown 178% during the past 10 years. By comparison, charter school enrollment has grown 125%, nonpublic school enrollment has decreased 8%, and traditional public school enrollment has dipped by 13%.
New York is typically viewed as a “high-regulation state” for homeschoolers. In addition, homeschoolers cannot receive New York State high school diplomas or participate in public school activities like clubs or sports. Thirty-two states allow parents to direct all or a portion of their children’s education funding to nonpublic schools or to the costs of homeschooling; New York, however, is one of the 18 states that fails to do so. As D’Vertola observed, it is remarkable that homeschooling has become so popular in a state whose government is so hostile to it.
Many Christian families in New York homeschool their children. As New York’s public schools continue to degenerate into ineffectiveness, chaos, and transgender extremism, it is likely that many more Christian families will choose homeschooling. Homeschooling and other educational alternatives, including Christian schools, are a good thing. They put parents in the driver’s seat regarding their children’s education—and that is exactly where parents belong.