According to the most recent data released by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) in an open records request to the Texas Home School Coalition (THSC), withdrawals from public school to homeschool in the spring of 2021 were 40% up over the prior year.
More recent accurate data from the TEA, including withdrawal rates from the fall of 2021 and spring of 2022, will not be available until next spring.
The THSC fielded 1,702 inquiries from new homeschoolers this past August. That is below the August 2020 numbers (3,500 inquiries) and 2021 peak numbers (13,000 inquiries) but still within the range of pre-covid August numbers, which averaged between 1,500 and 2,000 inquiries each August.
So far, the data shows that the rate of homeschooling families going back to public school has not increased.
While there is no definitive data on how the tragedy in Uvalde is driving decisions to homeschool, the THSC says that they do often see a spike in homeschooling following mass shootings. It also known that concern about safety and the school environment are the reasons that parents cite as the most important reasons they chose to homeschool.
Based on U.S. Census data, THSC estimates that there are currently 750,000 homeschool students in Texas; this is more than all private and charter school students combined.
Statistically, homeschooled students significantly outperform their public school peers on standardized tests. This remains true regardless of the education level of the parent, the income level of the family, or the level of state regulation on homeschooling.