In July 2020, the Texas Home School Coalition (THSC) saw 15 times the number of public school families withdraw from public school through THSC’s website to homeschool compared to the number of families who did so in July 2019.
THSC’s online withdrawal tool automatically generates a withdrawal letter that families can easily email to their schools to complete the withdrawal process and begin homeschooling.
In July 2019, THSC processed 201 withdrawals. In July of 2020, THSC processed 3,114 withdrawals, a 15-fold increase. This is almost as many withdrawals as were processed in the 2019 calendar year, and this number represents only a portion of the total withdrawals statewide.
Historically, August sees the largest number of withdrawals to homeschool, often three to five times higher than July numbers. This indicates that August could be another record-breaking month.
In 2018 and 2019, 23,000-25,000 students withdrew from public school to homeschool each year, according to data from the Texas Education Agency (TEA). Homeschool withdrawals have increased 7% annually on average over the last 20 years.
While official TEA withdrawal numbers for 2020 are not yet available, early numbers from THSC’s online withdrawal tool indicate an enormous increase in families moving to homeschooling.
Withdrawals through THSC’s online tool, as well as call and email volume from families asking how to homeschool, spiked dramatically within the first 24 hours following the TEA’s announcement of new back-to-school guidelines on July 7.
In a statement about the recent increase in homeschooling, THSC President Tim Lambert said, “With the landslide of families moving to homeschooling, it is clear that many families don’t feel comfortable sending their children back to public school in the current environment.
“The health concerns raised by the global pandemic and the substantial uncertainty and inconvenience involved with new back-to-school requirements is simply more than many families feel comfortable accepting.
“Homeschooling has become an increasingly popular option for families looking for a safe, flexible and well-established form of education for their children. We will be here to support the tens of thousands of new families who are beginning homeschooling this year.”