The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has sparked new interest in home schooling — particularly among Blacks aiming to protect their children from the dangerous disease, according to a U.S. Census report.

The number of children taught at home by their parents has doubled over the past year, including the significant spike in Black families who switched to home education for the first time amid the requirement of masks being worn in public, somewhat failed virtual learning, and the forced closing of many public schools, CBN News reported.

Now, as parents have become teachers, nearly 5 million children are either home-schooled or enrolled in private facilities, up from about 2.5 million two years ago. Black households had the biggest jump, going from 3.3.% in spring 2020 to 16.1% in the fall, CBN reported, citing the National Home Education Research Institute.

In Virginia, more than 65,000 children are now being home-schooled, up from 44,000 in 2020, according to Yvonne Bunn, director of Support at Home Educators Association of Virginia.

The home-schooled student population also nearly doubled in D.C., growing from 389 students in the 2019-20 school year to 764 students between July 2020 and February 2021, according to the D.C. Office of the State Superintendent of Education.

In Prince George’s County, the home-schooled population increased by nearly 25%, from about 3,200 students to nearly 4,000. In Anne Arundel and Montgomery counties, the number of home-schooled children grew to the highest peak in more than a decade for both jurisdictions, with about 5,000 and 4,000 students, respectively, according to the Investigative Reporting Workshop.

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WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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