LOS ANGELES — Public schools are seeing a steep decline in student enrollment across the country and just last school year, LAUSD saw a drop in over 20,000 students.
What You Need To Know
- Black parents make up the highest percentage of those opting to homeschool their children instead of keeping them enrolled in traditional public school
- Professor of Education at Cal State Long Beach, William Jeynes, says there’s been a steady decline in enrollment at public schools across the board, but especially among African American students
- LAUSD saw a drop of over 20,000 students from 2021 to 2022, according to the California Department of Education. Of those, 13% were Black
In the recent decline, Black parents make up the highest percentage of those opting to homeschool their children instead of keeping them enrolled in traditional public school.
Robin Norman is one of them.
They say a child’s laughter lights a home and that’s certainly the case for hers. Especially on days when both of her two kids are learning from home.
The single mother has her hands full, but she says she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“How would we use it in a sentence?” Norman asked her 6-year-old son, Harper.
Her living room often doubles as a classroom for Harper, who’s in a hybrid homeschooling program.
Norman takes him to campus two days a week, but for the other three, she is his teacher. She uses project-based resources that the school provides.
She says she’s always been leery of traditional public school, opting for homeschooling instead to ensure her son’s well rounded education and overall wellbeing.
“Because I know that outside of the restrictions on the education, Black kids tend to be more frequently and harshly disciplined in traditional schools and I knew I didn’t want that for my kid,” she explained. “They’re removing things from school, they’re banning books you can’t talk about critical race theory which is just... history.”
Those are just some reasons Black parents have pulled their children from public school in droves post-pandemic, according to the research.
Professor of Education at Cal State Long Beach, William Jeynes, says there’s been a steady decline in enrollment at public schools across the board, but especially among African American students.
“The U.S. Census Bureau does report that homeschooling is way up, and this is among all races combined. Maybe it’s up about 60% or so, versus pre-pandemic levels, but for African Americans in particular, the number has quadrupled, even quintupled,” Jeynes said.
He feels there’s no reason to panic when reading about declining enrollment, as 86.5% of children still attend public schools, compared to the whopping 91% pre-pandemic. It’s among the highest rate in the world, Jeynes said.
Locally, LAUSD saw a drop of over 20,000 students from 2021 to 2022, according to the California Department of Education. Of those, 13% were Black.
Norman is not surprised.
She often tells the moms in a Facebook group she moderates that even as an event planner and business owner, homeschooling is a viable option.
“You can catch your kid up really quickly with one-on-one attention. It’s very, very hard for them to hide when it’s just you and them,” she explained. “Like if it’s a classroom of 30 kids, it’s easy for them to hide and skip through the cracks.”
Not a chance here at her house, under an eye so watchful, even her 1-year-old is way ahead of the curve.