A new research, published by the National Home Education Research Institute, found that more and more Texans are deciding to educate their children at home. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the percentage of families in Texas that home-schooled their kids was 4.5%, the research showed that the percentage grew up to 12% at the start of the 2020-2021 school year. That means that about 30,000 students across the state withdrew from a public or charter school and went homeschooling during the spring of 2021, an increase of 40% compared with the previous year.
The Texas Tribune interviewed Peggy Semingson, an associate professor at the University of Texas at Arlington who tracked homeschooling during the pandemic, about this phenomenon and he said that there is not a single explanation for this. For instance, Semingson pointed out that many families had a lot of fear that their kids could get COVID or could be victims of a school shooting. That fear made these families decide that home school was the safest option in the context of extreme violence and vulnerability.
Another reason, explains Semigson, is that some families do not agree on the way race, gender, and sex issues are taught in schools. Education has been a very hotspot in what conservatives name the “culture war” in Texas, but since the start of the pandemic and as classes were broadcasted on family’s computers, some parents listened and saw things they didn’t like about these issues.