We’re all home-schoolers now. Let’s learn from home-schooler experience: Joshua Higginbotham

Posted on: April 15, 2020

The kids are home for spring break, and they might not be going back to school. This is our new reality during the coronavirus pandemic. It’s clear the education system needs alternatives, and it’s time to look at what advocates in the school choice movement have been doing for years.

In my state of West Virginia, we have prioritized school choice. House Bill 206, which passed last year, empowered educators, leaving decisions about teacher pay with counties rather than state bureaucrats. It also lets parents decide which school in the county they want their child to attend.

As I write, 45 states have extended their original closure dates to varying degrees. Combined with district-level closures in the nine other states, “at least 95,000 U.S. public and private schools are closed, are scheduled to close, or were closed and later reopened,” according to Education Week.

To put it in perspective, Education Week notes that there “are 98,277 public schools in the U.S. and almost 50.8 million public school students, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.”

Kansas has closed its schools for the academic year, and others, such as California, have said they might follow suit. And now, parents all over the country are scrambling to figure out how best to educate their children in the meantime. Public schools, for their part, are racing to put their classes online, but many have only limited experience with the technology.

Government often likes to reinvent the wheel any time it must try something new. But finding educational alternatives is nothing new to the folks in the school choice movement. They’ve been doing it for years. There is a wealth of options out there for parents looking to home-school their children in these uncertain times from groups with experience and expertise in the space.

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