CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Since 2012 the amount of home-schooled students in the state of Ohio has gone from 20,091 in 2012, to 30,491 in 2017 which represents an increase of 52 percent.
According to the Ohio Department of Education here are the number of home schooled students by year:
- FY 2011 21,762
- FY 2012 20,091
- FY 2013 24,242
- FY 2014 25,862
- FY 2015 27,236
- FY 2016 28,629
- FY 2017 30,491
According J. Allen Weston, who is the Executive Director of the National Home School Association (NHSA), this is a trend happening all over the country.
"We are seeing very significant growth nationwide. It is hard however to pin down the real number since over half of the states either don't keep track at all or they require home-schoolers to register but they don't keep count. We estimate that there is now in excess of four million home-schoolers nationwide," Weston said.
The question of why this is happening is even harder to answer.
Weston said until someone does a comprehensive study there's no solid answer, but his organization has several ideas.
"The reasons we see fueling the growth are: general dissatisfaction with the quality of a public education; specific disagreement with specific curriculum choices being made by certain schools; the explosive growth of quality educational materials available online; the change of laws mandating vaccination for all public school students; the increasing pressure that schools are putting on parents to drug any child that has trouble sitting still all day; the dangers of physical and sexual abuse that students are exposed to daily by both other students and staff and the increase in resources available to home-schoolers that have just now become available."
Cleveland 19 has asked the Ohio Department of Education why they think there has been a dramatic increase in the past five years and we have not gotten a response.
In Ohio there is a process a parent or guardian must take to home school a child and it begins with getting a release from your districts superintendent according to the Ohio Department of Education.
From there the parents must agree to the following:
- Provide 900 hours of instruction per year;
- Notify the superintendent every year; and
- Provide an assessment of the students work
The Department of Education has provided a "Frequently asked questions" website here.