More families looking into private and homeschool across the nation

More parents choosing alternate education
Published: Mar. 1, 2023 at 10:12 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - We’ve shared about enrollment numbers being down across the country since the last school year. The Associated Press reports that public school enrollment went down about 700,000 during the ‘19-’20 and ‘21-’22 school year. Those students have gone in several directions.

103,000 enrolled in private school, 184,000 chose homeschool, and birthrates declining and families moving accounted for about 183,000, while the rest are still unaccounted for.

WBRC spoke with the interim superintendent at Briarwood Christian School about the rise they have seen in applications for private school.

“The reason I think we’re probably seeing that steady increase is because of this super unique time that we’re all raising children in,” said Ammie Akin, Interim Superintendent at Briarwood. She said students are facing extremely high levels of anxiety and depression right now.

“Recent research from pew research says that 70% of our young adults are reporting that anxiety and depression are the biggest issues facing them today. 40% of parents are concerned that depression and anxiety are distracting their children from just growing up in a very calm way,” Akin said.

That’s one reason Dr. Akin thinks parents are re-evaluating where their kids should be placed.

“Each child is responding in a very distinct way to our culture and what they’re going through,” Akin said.

In Alabama, the State Board of Education reports numbers enrolled are staying steady or even growing, which means the state is not losing students in general, but parents are considering the culture in their kids’ education more than ever.

“You’re thinking about the society we live in right now... it’s kind of around the world,” said one parent.

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