by Dr. Terry Stoops
Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation
Earlier this month, I reported that the estimated number of homeschoolers hit an all-time high of 98,172 students during the 2013-14 school year.
The N.C. Division of Non-Public Education published the disaggregated data this week, so I examined estimated homeschool enrollment, by county, over the last five years. We know that the total number of homeschool students more than doubled between the 2008-09 and 2013-14 school years. But consider the following:
1. Overall, 92 of North Carolina’s 100 counties had triple digit percentage growth in enrollment over the last five years. Wowza!
2. Last year, 28 of the state’s 100 counties had over 1,000 homeschool students. Five years ago, only seven counties reached that enrollment level.
3. The median number of homeschool students per county was 570 last year. Five years ago, it was 249.
4. Homeschool enrollment in two counties – Harnett and Onslow – grew by over 200 percent. Moore County’s 193 percent growth rate fell a little short. Better luck next time.
5. Last year, there were an estimated 9,559 homeschool students in Wake County. Wake had the largest five-year enrollment increase in North Carolina, adding 5,788 students, and is poised to become the first county in the state to enroll over 10,000 homeschoolers. Interestingly, Wake’s homeschool enrollment beat Mecklenburg County by well over 2,000 students.