NC Homeschools Grow almost 19%
In July, 2021, the NC Division of Non-Public Education (DNPE) published the NC homeschool statistics for the 2020-2021 school year. The number of state recognized homeschools grew by about 18.7% to 112,614 (from 94,863 the year before). Note that the percentage of growth the year before was 4.6%. DNPE estimates that there are about 1.6 students per homeschool for a total of 179,900 students. NCHE believes that a more realistic estimate is 2.5 students per homeschool for a total student population of 281,535. This represents more than 16.6% of the total North Carolina K-12 student population. Since most homeschools with only students below the age of 7 do not officially open a school (because the law does not require it), there are actually more homeschools than this number represents. Here is a link to the North Carolina Division of Non-Public Education homeschool data for the 2010-2021 school year.
A post written by Brian D. Ray, Ph.D. states that More empirical evidence shows that homeschooling doubled in the United States during the government pandemic lockdowns. The growth occurred from the 2019-2020 institutional school year to the 2020-2021 year, to perhaps as many as 5 million school-age children. The latest data come from the United States Census Bureau.”
Ray (2021b) estimated that there were 4.0 to 5.0 million homeschool students in grades K-12 in the United States (or 7% to 9% of school-age children) in January of 2021. The rate of growth in North Carolina didn’t double, but NCHE estimates that homeschool students represent 16.6% of the total NC K-12 student population. That’s about double the national average.
Historical Growth in NC Homeschooling
In January 1988, there were about 1,046 homeschools in North Carolina. When NCHE convinced the NC General Assembly to pass a favorable homeschool law that was ratified on June 20, 1988, the number of homeschools began to grow rapidly. By the end of the 1988-89 school year the NC homeschool community had experienced a phenomenal 32% increase in numbers to 1,385 homeschools. Since then, the number of homeschools in North Carolina has grown at an annual compound growth rate of more that 18%.
In 2011, NCHE commissioned the following research:
A Summary of Homeschooling Across North Carolina: Academic Achievement and Demographic Characteristics
Brian D. Ray, Ph.D. March 11, 2011