Florida sees jump in home schooling

Travis Pillow

Home schooling in Florida grew substantially during the recently completed school year.

A new report released by the state Department of Education shows the number of home-school students rose by more than 7,000, its largest increase in at least a decade.

The number of participating students jumped by more than 9 percent, the highest growth rate since 2011.

home school graph

Home schooling has become increasingly popular in Florida, growing faster than the school population as a whole. If the more than 84,000 home-school students were counted as a school district, it would be the tenth-largest in the state, significantly larger than Brevard County and somewhat smaller than Lee.

It’s hard to say what, exactly is driving the trend, or what caused the growth spike this year, since the state does not collect large amounts of data on home-school students.

It is worth noting that while the number of home-school students increased substantially, the number of home-school families only increased by 2.6 percent. That suggests that during the 2014-15 school year, a number of children in households that were already home schooling joined older brothers or sisters being taught by their parents.

The growing home education community has helped fuel the creation of new, innovative support programs in different parts of the state, enabled in part by the rise of virtual education.

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