(This is the appendix for the file “DOE-EstimatedHSChildren”) Appendix A Home School Data Collected by States
Please note: the collection of this data does not imply that the author believes states ought to collect such data. This decision should rest on determinations made in individual states, considering such things as costs and the potential interest in and usefulness of collecting data in that state.
State laws vary on whether or not a home schooling family must submit any kind of paper work or otherwise notify state or local officials of an intention to home school a child. This table shows the number of home schooled children for whom a state has some official count Ä either directly through notification to the state, or indirectly, through local educational agencies. Where the table indicates “no data available,” this does not mean the state has no estimate of the home schooling population, but only that it has not itself collected such data. Where the table indicates “LEAs have sole responsibility,” there is a reporting requirement in the law (see Appendix D), at the local level, but the state agency does not collect the data.
Home schooled Children Reported Source Comments Alabama LEAs have sole responsibility. Alaska 1,000 enrollment estimated number of K-12 students enrolled in state correspondence program. Arizona State collects data from LEA on reason for withdrawal from public school. In future it will include data on home schooling. Arkansas 2,500 registered 90-91 as of December, 1990 California 6,000 estimate, based on enrollment fall, 1990 of schools of 4 or fewer children. A popular and legal way to home school in California is to qualify as a private school Colorado LEAs have sole responsibility. Connecticut 289 reports from LEAs 359 total by end of year, last year Delaware 367 reports to SEA Dist. of 10 received approval
Columbia Florida 7,555 Estimated, based on 5,346 families reported on families reporting, and a survey of these families, with a 59% rate of return, showing an average of 1.4 school-aged children in home school. Georgia 5,024 Reports from LEAs Hawaii 272 Reports from LEAs LEAs are not required to submit reports until the end of the year. Last year, reports were filed on 343 children. Idaho LEAs have sole responsibility. State Department estimates about 1,000 children. Illinois 529 Voluntary report to state for 89-90 Indiana 882 Reports to state Iowa LEAs have sole responsibility. Kansas 2,700 This is based on 1350 home schools (usually families) reporting to the state, as of February 1, 1991. The estimate is the researcher’s, not the state’s. Kentucky LEAs have sole responsibility. The Non-public School Advisor believes there may be between 1,500 and 5000 home schooled students in Kentucky. Louisiana 2,121 Reports from LEAs Parishes had reported this number as of Feb. 1991. Maine 1,300 Reports to SEA Maryland 1,500 based on a survey of LEA coordinators, as of June 1990, showing numbers of students for whom parent has requested home schooling. Massachusetts LEAS have sole responsibility. Michigan 675 Reports to SEA Minnesota 3,538 Reports to SEA Data from fall, 1989 Mississippi 600 Reports to LEA Families report to school attendance officers. Data is for 1989Ä90. Missouri LEAs have sole responsibility. State uses data from home school associations. Montana 906 Reports to SEA Data from 1989-90. Nebraska 3,509 Reports to LEAs Data from 1989-90. Nevada 682 Reports to LEAs Data from 1989-90.
New Hampshire 711 Enrolled with LEAs A new law will go into effect in July, 1991 that provides for a notice of intent, filed with the SEA through the LEA New Jersey 1,000 estimated New Mexico No reliable LEAs have sole data responsibility. New York 4,975 This does not include data from New York City.
North Carolina 4,145 Based on 2,438 families, adjusted to number of children based on surveys indicating number of home schooled children of compulsory school age in each family North Dakota 483 Reports to SEA Ohio 2,729 Reports to SEA Data from 1989-90 Oklahoma No data available Oregon 4,578 Reports from LEAs Data as of March, 1990
2,552 Reports from LEAs Data as of May, 1990 Rhode Island LEAs have sole responsibility
South Carolina 743 Reports from LEAs 1989-90 data. LEAs receive .25 of state per pupil support for reported home schoolers.
Dakota 1,176 1989-90 data. Tennessee 1,248 Tennessee estimates that another 1,400 children are home schooled legally, but enrolling in a private school. Parents do not have to file papers with the state for these children. Texas No data available. Utah LEAs have sole responsibility. The state relies on the home school association estimate. Vermont 680 Data from fall, 1990. Virginia 2,934 Reports from LEAs Data are from September, 1989 and do not include home schooled students who have obtained a religious exemption from the compulsory education law through the LEA. Washington 4,696 Reports from LEAs Data are from 1988-89.
West Virginia 684 Reports from LEAs This represents an estimate based on number of families (399) reporting to the LEA as of the spring of 1989, and multiplied by an estimated number of compulsory-school aged children per family (1.7). Wisconsin 6,298 Reports to SEA Data are from February, 1991. Wyoming 470 Reports to SEA Data are for 1989-90. TOTAL 82,061
INFORMATION FROM ASSOCIATIONS
The following represent “guesstimates” rather than an actual membership or subscription number. In general, the home school leaders supplying information often indicated that they were uncertain of their estimate. Some said they were unable to make estimates for their states; others used state data with no modification, and still others used state data and adjusted it to account for those who do not file papers with state or local authorities. A fourth group were willing to make independent estimates, and most of these appeared to be careful and thoughtful, and grounded in real data. LOW HIGH (or only) (or only) estimate estimate notes on source Arkansas 4,900 4,900 modified state data California 10,000 12,917 independent estimate Connecticut 1,024 1,024 independent estimate Hawaii 500 500 modified state data Kentucky 2,800 2,800 independent estimate Minnesota 3,538 3,538 adopted state data Missouri 3,000 4,000 independent estimate Montana 725 725 adopted state data New Hampshire 711 711 adopted state data New Jersey 1,500 1,500 independent estimate, confirmed by adjustment to state data New Mexico 4,200 4,200 modified state data North Dakota 600 600 adopted state data Pennsylvania 8,000 8,000 independent estimate Ohio 10,000 20,000 separate estimates, independently done Oklahoma 9,000 10,000 independent estimate Vermont 700 700 adopted state data Wisconsin 5,666 5,666 adopted state data TOTALS 66,864 81,781
Explanation of third column:
No Estimate possible
A New York State home schooler indicated it was not possible to make an estimate. A second home school leader in New York sent a newspaper clipping in which a reporter had estimated 275 families, with 550 children in home schooling in New York City, based on a survey of city school districts. Because of the lack of a statewide association estimate for New York, it does not appear on the table, and is not included in the computation.
Adopted State Data:
Individuals in Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Vermont and Wisconsin suggested using the state data, implicitly or explicitly indicating some confidence in this data. This number will be smaller than the total of school-aged children, because the state data typically includes only those of compulsory school age, generally 6 to 16.
Modified State Data:
Leaders of associations in Arkansas and New Mexico took the state registration figure and increased it by an amount believed to represent those who do not file papers with the state. In both states, these persons thought about half the families filed papers. A leader in Hawaii used this same method, but estimated that 80% of families file papers, yielding as estimate of 500 children. The number of families that comply with state requirements to file information does vary from state to state, and it seems likely that these state leaders made reasonable estimates for their states.
California: Representatives of five different associations responded, with five different approaches to the problem of estimate the number of home schooled children in California. Two of these offered state-wide estimates. One considered the attendance at the annual convention last year in Anaheim of the Christian Home Educators Association of California, Inc. Ä over 4,000. and attendance at several area conventions Ä1,200 each. This individual concluded that “there would be over 10,000 children in California” educated at home. The second estimator, working independently, made a “guess” of 12,917 home-educated children in California. He assumed 1.82 home schooled children per family (based on a survey of his own participants). He then added membership in known groups, attendance on conferences of specific groups, and one-half the 4,558 private school affidavits filed with the state (for schools with under 7 children enrolled) in 1990. Figures were adjusted by multiplying by 1.82 where families were the unit counted; and by eliminating a fraction for younger children. Apparently the use of only one-half the state registrants reflected a belief that some were “group” schools, and perhaps also to adjust for overlap. (Some of those registering with the state will also belong to support groups.)
Other home school leaders in California could only estimate the number for local areas. One thought there were 250-300 children in Santa Clara county. Another, was comfortable only with stating the number in her support group Ä 100. Another observing that “It’s a big state,” estimated his county (400 to 650 children) and the number from Sacramento to Tahoe (2,500), all based on workshop and meeting activity. These local estimates from smaller or most rural areas would suggest that statewide estimates of 10,000 to 20,000 are too small.
Connecticut: A home school leader estimated 1,024 school-aged children, counting families in associations, multiplying by 3.2 children per family, and then multiplying by 80%, based on a survey indicating the 80% of children in these families are of school age. (This would mean an assumption of 2.5 home schooled children per family, rather than two, but this may not be unusual when dealing with smaller states.)
Kentucky: A home school leader estimated 2,800 by fall of 1989, based on the association membership, multiplied by a factor of ten based on an observation in known support groups that only about 10% of the families joined this state association, and multiplied by a factor of 3 to arrive at the number of children.
New Jersey: A home school leader estimated 1,500 home schooled children in New Jersey. In the absence of a statewide association this was based on contacts with about 40 support group leaders. This individual also indicated that perhaps about twothirds the family will file papers with the state, and so had an independent method for arriving at the estimate of 1,500. (The state has papers for approximately 1,000 children.)
Missouri: The state home school association has from 1,500 to 2,000 families. This would usually mean 3,000 to 4,000 schoolaged children in home schooling.
Pennsylvania: Home school leaders estimated 8,000, based on a list of subscribers to their newsletter, along with evidence that they have reached about one-third of home schooling families. They multiplied this by two, assuming two home schooled children per family.
Ohio: Three other home schooling leaders in Ohio offered estimates. These varied wildly, ranging from 10,000 to 20,000. The 20,000 was based on membership in groups, expanded to account for those who do not join these groups. This individual assumed that most home schoolers did not belong to state or national home schooling organizations, based on participation rates in her own relatively small group. A second individual estimated from 3,000 to 5,000 families, but did not indicate how he arrived at this number. This would usually mean from 6,000 to 10,000 children. The third home school leader estimated 2,000 for her corner of the state only, Northwest Ohio.
Oklahoma: A home school leader estimated 9,000 to 10,000 children, based on numbers of families, and multiplied by three, assuming three children per family.
APPENDIX C SUMMARY OF SELECTED RESEARCH REPORTS FROM TWO STATE DEPARTMENTS OF EDUCATION
Florida: As of Jan. 31, 1990, Florida had 5,346 families registered to establish a home education program, located in 66 of Florida’s 67 school districts. The Division of Public Schools surveyed all families who had registered. 3,134 (59%) responded, providing information on 4,429 students. 93% were white, nonHispanic; 3% were Hispanics; 2% were Black, non-Hispanic. 2,975 were ages 5–11; 1,192 were ages 12-15; 199 were 16 and up. There were slightly more females than males. 22% were previously enrolled in public schools; 13% were previously enrolled in private schools.
A survey question asked parents to indicate their single most important reason for home schooling given four choices (religious; dissatisfaction with public schools; dissatisfaction with private school; other). Most respondents indicated in one way or another that it was impossible to identify a “single most important reason.” Many checked more than one response; some checked “other” and included the other options. Among the “other” responses were references to the “humanistic philosophy in public schools”; parents’ responsibility for teaching the child; worry about safety in public schools; parent desire to teach the child in one-on-one setting.
Nebraska: The state has data on students who have registered with the state and taken an achievement test. The state obtains the data through surveys of Education Service Districts, county and city units. The following provides data on the number registered and taking the test: registered tested 86-87 2,671 1,121 (42%) 87-88 3,103 1,658 (53%) 88-89 3,716 2,973 (80%) 89-90 4,578 3,509 (77%)
The test results show that in past four years, 70% or more of those taking an approved standardized test scored above the median. As a higher percentage of students complied with the testing requirement (88-89), the percentage who scored above the 50th percentile declined slightly. For example, in 86-87, where only 42% submitted tests scores, 76.1% were above the median. In 88-89, where testing compliance was at 80%, 70% were above the media.