By Gary North (www.garynorth.com), 30/8/2021
Here is a heart-warming report.
Despite their efforts, [Colorado’s Adams District 14] started school with 5% fewer students, adding to a decline made worse by the coronavirus pandemic.
At Dallas Independent School District in Texas, about 12,000 students failed to show up for the first day of school. Administrators there, like in Colorado, have been working overtime to track them down.
H.I. Holland Elementary Principal Shanieka Christmas-McDonald said educators were calling families to say, “Hey, where’s my baby?”
“We’re really connecting with them in our conversations, letting them know we miss the student, we want to see them here and that we’re going to take care of them as much as we can,” she told the Dallas Morning News.
But working against them were three sloppy back-to-school rollouts and families who feared sending their children to school amid a surge of COVID-19 cases driven by the fast-moving delta variant.
This year, district officials project they’ll have about 146,000 students, down from previous years.
On Aug. 2, only 270 children showed up at Holland Elementary. About 360 were expected.
In the weeks since, the school has slowly been able to build its attendance and said an official enrollment count was still weeks away.
Even with a billion-dollar federal government lifeline, public schools across the country are headed toward a financial cliff.
This is good news for liberty.
School officials have said that federal COVID-19-relief funds aren’t enough to make up for the blows to state and local budgets, or the cost of remote learning, as well as the attempts to get children back into classrooms. State and local funding make up about 90% of school district revenue. In many states, local funding contributions flow through the state treasury before making their way to school districts. States use enrollment numbers to calculate money on a per-student basis. If a student leaves a school district, the money goes with them.
Preliminary enrollment numbers for Oregon’s largest school district show a 3.1% decline. The numbers follow a 2020-21 school year enrollment drop, not only in Portland but the state as a whole.
In North Carolina, enrollment dropped 5% last year. For kindergarteners, the decrease was 15%.
Lindsay Wagner of the state public school forum said there was some concern that students may not come back following the COVID-19 crisis.
“A lot of districts, especially rural ones, don’t have the local funding to absorb [the] losses,” she said. “They really rely on state funding to fund their school budgets.”
In Buncombe County, every student that leaves takes $4,592.46 with them.
The lockdowns have backfired against what is operationally the only established church in America. The public school systems around the country are experiencing net losses on a scale not seen before. This is historically unprecedented.
AND THE WINNER IS. . . .
The big winner is home schooling.
Cutting into enrollment is the rise of home-schooling.
Home-schooling has shown its staying power after starting as a temporary approach to education during the lockdown.
Typically, a little more than 3% of the nation’s school-age children are home-schooled in a given year, according to federal data. However, a significant surge has been confirmed by the U.S. Census Bureau, which reported that in March, the rate of home-schooling rose to 11% by September 2020.
In Wisconsin, public schools saw their largest single-year decrease in enrollment last fall. Private school enrollment also dropped 1.5%, about half as much as public schools, according to a Wisconsin Policy Forum report released in August. The decrease brought private school enrollment down to 118,862 — its lowest point in at least a decade. Home-schooling, on the other hand, shot up by 47% over the preceding year, its largest increase since 1984.
In Texas, the number of parents choosing to home-school nearly tripled, going from 4.5% in 2019 to 12.3% in 2020, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
In New Mexico, 6.4% of households chose to home-school at the beginning of the 2020-21 school year. That number jumped to 14.3% by the middle of the fall semester.
The percentage of families that homeschool their children will not go back to what it was in February 2020. Those days are gone. A majority of the parents who have shifted to homeschooling have seen see that their children perform better in a homeschool environment than they do in a public school classroom environment. They could see this in the virtual education experiment.
So far this month, which is when new enrollments begin, the Ron Paul Curriculum has experienced a decline of about 2% from the peak a month ago. Yet it experienced an increase of over 75% in 2020/21 as a result of the lockdowns. So, while there have been some families that are sending their children back into the public schools, most of them are being replaced by new families that are pulling their children out of the public schools. With the Delta variant spreading, I do not expect most of the parents who signed up since March 2020 to abandon the RPC program.
Meanwhile, establishment pressure in the public schools to adopt critical race theory will continue. The promoters of CRT are dedicated. The pressure will be relentless. No matter how much parents protest, they really have no say in this matter. They can take it or leave it. I predict that a relatively small minority of parents will leave it. I do not expect that there will be a mass exodus from the public schools based on CRT. Most parents are submissive. They grin and bear it.
Public education really is the only agreed-upon religion in America. The public schools are seen as agencies of social salvation. But, at the margin, the defections have begun. There really has been an exodus from the public schools. It is not a mass exodus, but it is an exodus.
At some point, public schools will reach critical mass. The system will implode. Middle-class parents who want their children to go to college will view local public schools as inner-city schools: holding tanks for lower-class students who will not graduate from high school. White parents want white privilege. Black parents want black privilege. Hispanic parents want Hispanic privilege. But privilege is only going to be available in a handful of tax-funded charter schools, magnet schools, and lily-white school districts. Everybody else will have to find a scholastic port in the storm. The only affordable port in the storm will be homeschooling. “Y’all come!”