In her March 1, 2022 response to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union Address, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R-IA) declared that there was a “pro-parent, pro-family revolution” occurring in the education system across the nation. Gov. Reynolds is correct, and the numbers show it.
Parents concerned about school safety and politicized curricula were a major factor in Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s 2021 election victory in Virginia. In New York and in other states, parents are seeking greater involvement in their kids’ education and greater educational choice. One clear indicator of this “pro-parent, pro-family revolution” is the number of families who have pulled their children out of public schools since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out.
On March 2, 2022, New York City Schools Chancellor David Banks confirmed that 120,000 families had pulled their kids out of New York City’s public schools over the past five years. Chancellor Banks added that New York City schools had “‘broken the trust for our families’” and needed to “‘build that trust back.’” Earlier this year, the Empire Center noted that enrollment in New York City’s public schools had decreased by nearly 60,000 students during the past year. Chalkbeat.org reports that 14,800 New York City students are being homeschooled this year; that figure has increased by 88% since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nationally, TheFederalist.com reports that an eye-popping two million American students left the public school system from 2020 to 2021.
Whether because of COVID-19 concerns, objections to COVID-19 mandates, or leftist indoctrination in classrooms, parents are voting with their feet and getting their kids out of public schools. This is a positive trend, and it is one that offers the Christian community opportunities to fill the need for quality education options.