Prior to the Pandemic, White Children Were Three Times as Likely to Be Homeschooled Than Black Children

A new report from the U.S. Department of Education offers data on homeschooling and at-home virtual education in the United States. The data is for 2019, before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, when at-home virtual education increased dramatically and probably has continued albeit at lower levels since the end of the pandemic.

In 2019, 2.8 percent of students ages 5–17 were homeschooled, and 1.2 percent were in full-time virtual education.

But, there were large differences in at-home instruction between Blacks and Whites. Some 4 percent of all White children were homeschooled in 2019, compared to 1.2 percent of Black children. Thus, Whites were more than three times as likely as Blacks to be homeschooled. Some 1.5 percent of both Black and White children were enrolled in full-time virtual education.

The most commonly reported reasons for homeschooling were concern about the school environment (80 percent of homeschooled students had parents who reported this reason), wanting to provide moral instruction (75 percent), wanting to emphasize family life together (75 percent), and dissatisfaction with academic instruction at other schools (73 percent).

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