Education Disruption

Education Disruption

Education Disruption

middle school charter school

The COVID19 pandemic has disrupted many things here in America. As every parent knows, one of the major disruptions took place in the realm of education. News has been coming out that among the disruptions in education has been the number of parents choosing to homeschool their kids. Now, we’re not talking about the quasi-homeschooling that all kids experienced when their schools closed and all the kids went to Zoom School. We’re talking about folks who have decided to unenroll their students from public or private school and teach their children themselves, most using a curriculum and resources crafted for homeschooling.

In March, the Census Bureau released results of their Household Pulse Survey. The Survey said…

By fall, 11.1% of households with school-age children reported homeschooling (Sept. 30-Oct. 12). A clarification was added to the school enrollment question to make sure households were reporting true homeschooling rather than virtual learning through a public or private school.

That change represents an increase of 5.6 percentage points and a doubling of U.S. households that were homeschooling at the start of the 2020-2021 school year compared to the prior year. 

In Georgia, the Survey additionally reported that a staggering 16% of households were homeschooling last fall. This is also the number of African-American households homeschooling nationwide (up from 3% pre-pandemic!). It will be interesting to see if data for the 2021-2022 school year reflects a return to public and private schools as school buildings reopen, or if these parents decide to continue homeschooling.

The reasons people choose homeschooling vary. Joyce Burgess of the National Black Homeschool Association explains why some African-Americans are choosing to homeschool: 

They’re making these conclusions that peer pressure, they don’t have to be bothered with unnecessary racism, they don’t have to be bothered with bullying, they don’t have to be bothered with negative peer pressure. Some parents have chosen to bring their children home because the virtual setting, some parents just aren’t able to navigate that,” said Burgess.

A recent guest post in Bari Weiss’ Substack provides further insight to why some parents chose homeschooling 

When the covid lockdowns hit in March 2020 — in a matter of a few weeks, some 124,000 public and private schools with 55.1 million students shut down  American families suddenly had to adjust to school-via-screen.

The parents weren’t just upset about all the screen time their kids were logging. They were upset about what they saw on those screens. For the first time, millions of moms and dads could watch, in real time, their children’s teachers teaching.

It was a moment of “parent empowerment,” said Kerry McDonald, a senior fellow at the libertarian Foundation for Economic Education. That’s one way to put it. 

Here’s another: “My kindergartener was getting maybe twenty minutes of instruction per day,” said Pauline, a house cleaner in Durham, North Carolina, who prefers using only her middle name to stay anonymous. 

Pauline and her child lasted about two weeks in remote school before she decided it was a waste of everyone’s time. After a summer of lockdown, Pauline opted for a “homeschool co-op” with four other families. She was planning to send her now seven-year-old back to public school this year. “Being isolated made my kid miserable,” she said. “And I like public school. I was excited to send my kid there.”

The Delta variant, combined with her husband’s asthma, and the fact that there is no vaccine requirement for teachers in her district threw a wrench in that plan. What started as a short-term solution has morphed into a new normal. 

As my colleague Jamie Lord and I recently discussed, this demonstrates the real beauty of the concept of school choice: whether you want kids masked, or unmasked, have your school teach a certain curriculum or not, all parents, no matter their income status or location, should have choices in how and where their kid is educated.  

We at the Georgia Center for Opportunity will continue to fight for the right of all parents to choose the best method of educating their children. 

 

New Opportunities Open Up For Kids With Special Needs

New Opportunities Open Up For Kids With Special Needs

New Opportunities Open Up For Kids With Special Needs

Helping Marginalized Students Access Quality Education

Mountain Area Christian Academy recently celebrated the passage of the Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Expansion bill, also known as SB 47. After Governor Kemp signed SB 47 into law, Mountain Area Christian Academy hosted the Georgia Center for Opportunity, our partner organizations, and the two sponsors of the bill (state Senator Steve Gooch and state Representative Will Wade) to simply say “Thank you.”

SB 47 increases both funding and access to a quality education for students with special needs. The new law helps schools like Mountain Area Christian Academy address exceptional students according to their needs.

I don’t have to tell you how much this pandemic has damaged students’ educational outcomes—particularly for those with special needs—but what I will tell you is that we will not stop fighting for all students.

At the Georgia Center for Opportunity, we believe that this bill is an important first step as we move to help more marginalized communities access quality educational options statewide.

 

The Special Needs Scholarship expansion opens doors to kids not able to access education opportunities. This is a vital first step in efforts to insure that ALL our kids have access to quality education.

BE PART OF BRINGING OPPORTUNITY TO OTHERS!

Each dollar you give is doubled and goes to support efforts to expand opportunities throughout Georgia.

Kemp signs school-choice expansion bills in Georgia | WASHINGTON EXAMINER

Kemp signs school-choice expansion bills in Georgia | WASHINGTON EXAMINER

In The News

Kemp signs school-choice expansion bills in Georgia | WASHINGTON EXAMINER

Gov. Brian Kemp signed a trio of bills Thursday to expand education options in Georgia.

Senate Bill 47 expands the state’s Special Needs Scholarship program to students with 504 Plans. The program offers scholarships for students with individualized education plans to attend a private school or a public school of their choice…

“Gov. Kemp and lawmakers in the General Assembly have done right by Georgia’s special-needs community, and we applaud them for it,” Georgia Center for Opportunity Vice President of Public Policy Buzz Brockway said. “Coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic where so many families of students with special needs suffered disproportionately due to closed classrooms, it’s unconscionable to think we wouldn’t do everything in our power to lighten their load. This is an important first step as we move toward helping more marginalized communities access quality education options.”

Kemp signs school-choice expansion bills in Georgia | WASHINGTON EXAMINER

Kemp signs school-choice expansion bills in Georgia | CENTER SQUARE

In The News

Kemp signs school-choice expansion bills in Georgia | CENTER SQUARE

Gov. Brian Kemp signed a trio of bills Thursday to expand education options in Georgia.

Senate Bill 47 expands the state’s Special Needs Scholarship program to students with 504 Plans. The program offers scholarships for students with individualized education plans to attend a private school or a public school of their choice…

“Gov. Kemp and lawmakers in the General Assembly have done right by Georgia’s special-needs community, and we applaud them for it,” Georgia Center for Opportunity Vice President of Public Policy Buzz Brockway said. “Coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic where so many families of students with special needs suffered disproportionately due to closed classrooms, it’s unconscionable to think we wouldn’t do everything in our power to lighten their load. This is an important first step as we move toward helping more marginalized communities access quality education options.”

Gov. Brian Kemp is scheduled to sign Senate Bill 47

Gov. Brian Kemp is scheduled to sign Senate Bill 47

Gov. Brian Kemp is scheduled to sign Senate Bill 47

At 3:30pm today, Gov. Brian Kemp is scheduled to sign Senate Bill 47, a measure that makes vital improvements and updates to the Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Program in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. In March, the measure passed the House 91-71 and the Senate 3-23.

 

Among other key changes, SB47 will:

  • Expand the program to include a limited list of students with special needs (including autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, and dyslexia) who have a 504 plan and formal diagnosis from a licensed doctor.
  • Allow students who attended a public special needs preschool in Georgia to participate.
  • Allow students with special needs who are adopted from foster care to access the program immediately.
  • Make other updates to the scholarship program in line with the renewed need among families for help due to COVID-19.
The Georgia Center for Opportunity’s (GCO) take: “Gov. Kemp and lawmakers in the General Assembly have done right by Georgia’s special-needs community, and we applaud them for it,” said Buzz Brockway, GCO’s vice president of public policy. “Coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic where so many families of students with special needs suffered disproportionately due to closed classrooms, it’s unconscionable to think we wouldn’t do everything in our power to lighten their load. This is an important first step as we move toward helping more marginalized communities access quality education options.”

 

Kemp signs school-choice expansion bills in Georgia | WASHINGTON EXAMINER

Poll: Support for school choice increases after COVID shutdowns | KULR8

In The News

Poll: Support for school choice increases after COVID shutdowns | KULR8

After states shut down schools and forced families into virtual learning, parents and families found new ways to provide K-12 education to their children. While doing so, support for school choice options soared, a new poll from Real Clear Opinion Research found.

Among those surveyed, 71% said they support school choice, which is defined as giving parents the option to use the tax dollars designated for their child’s education to send their child to the public or private school that best serves their needs. Across all racial and ethnic demographics, an overwhelming majority expressed support for school choice: Blacks (66%), Hispanic (68%), and Asian (66 percent)…

The Georgia Center for Opportunity’s (GCO) take: “As this poll clearly shows, ensuring educational access for all is a common-sense, non-partisan issue,” said Buzz Brockway, Georgia Center for Opportunity vice president of public policy, said in a statement. “Unfortunately, a sliver of loud and influential special interest groups work to bar parents, families, and students from achieving true educational equity. We can’t allow that to happen. When 65% of registered voters tell you they support a concept like the Education Scholarship Account idea proposed right here in Georgia, lawmakers need to listen.”