Government Says Homeschooling Still Growing

Written by Dr. Brian Ray


Is it still growing? If so, at what rate? This is what a lot of media reporters, proponents of homeschooling, and antagonists of parent-led home-based education want to know regarding the homeschooling population. Researchers with the federal government recently took another look at this question. .[i] The study also considered demographics of the homeschool students and why their parents homeschool them.

Amber, Stark, and Redford (2013) explain that their data for the National Household Education Surveys Program are “… nationally representative of students enrolled in kindergarten through grade 12, including children enrolled in private schools, enrolled in public schools, and homeschooled. The total number of completed questionnaires was 17,563 [397 homeschooled and 17,166 enrolled, p. 23] children), representing a population of 53.4 million students enrolled in kindergarten through grade 12 in 2011-12” (i.e., January through August 2012) (p. 1).

“Homeschool calculations follow previous homeschool reports by including children ages 5 through 17, in a grade equivalent to at least kindergarten and not higher than grade 12, and excludes students who were enrolled in public or private school more than 25 hours per week, and students who were homeschooled only because of temporary illness” (p. 21).

They concluded that 3.4% – or 1,770,000 – of U.S. K-12 students were homeschooled circa spring of 2012. The 95% confidence interval would be about 1.54 million to 2.00 million (pp. 17, 46).

The reasons parents gave for homeschooling these children, in decreasing order of frequency chosen, were the following (and parents could choose more than one reason): (more…)

ACT joins SAT in Aligning with Common Core

Received in an email from HSLDA:

For now, the Common Core applies only to public schools in the 45 states that have adopted it. Federal law, under 20 U.S.C. § 7886, prohibits any federal education mandates from applying to private schools that do not receive federal funds or homeschools.

However, there is no such protection for families who have enrolled their children in programs that receive federal funds, especially those who are using virtual charter schools that are run through the local public school for their home education.

Though the specific provisions of the Common Core only directly bind public schools, it is reasonably predictable that private schools that accept federal funding (through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, for example) may face a decision between foregoing federal funding and accepting the Common Core standards in the near future. Moreover, President Obama intends to condition funding from Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act on states’ agreement to follow common standards “developed by a state-led consortium.”1 There is no reason to expect that private schools who receive Title I funding would not have to agree to this mandate.

The current impact of the Common Core on home and private education is revealed in the expanding state longitudinal databases, shifting college admissions expectations, newly updated curricula, and revised standardized tests. All these are fulfilling education historian Diane Ravitch’s prediction that “no one will escape [the Common Core’s] reach, whether they attend public or private school.”2 (more…)

Will Health Care Reform Mean Government Bureaucrats Can Invade My Home?

Written by William A. Estrada, Esq.
Director of Federal Relations


In 2010, Congress passed a health care reform bill, and President Obama signed it into law. You may have recently heard a rumor that the health care law includes a provision mandating home visits by government social workers. While HSLDA strongly opposed passage of the health care law, urges Congress to repeal the law and continues to fight against its provisions which threaten religious freedom, we must point out that this particular rumor is not true.

Under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, no government official can ever enter your home against your wishes unless (more…)