This summer, even teachers don't want to go back to work. Based on data about enrollment, parents have been sad about going back to school since COVID-19 started in early 2020.
In the past two years, more than 1.2 million kids have left public schools because their parents wanted them to go to charter schools, private schools, or homeschool.
In big American cities, the number of students in public schools has gone down. According to the New York Post, New York City is seeing "huge student hemorrhaging."
Since the start of the epidemic, the city has lost 64,000 enrollments, and another 30,000 are expected to leave this fall. Enrollment in NYC charter schools has risen.
There are 56,000 fewer children in Michigan's public schools than there were before the pandemic. Cities like Orange County, Denver, Kansas City, and Chicago are seeing their populations drop.
During the pandemic and the switch to virtual schooling, a lot of parents lost faith in their local public schools.
Some people didn't like how the school handled the pandemic, with lockdowns, masking, and strict rules about getting vaccinated. Others were unhappy with the curriculum in their local public schools and wanted to have more say.
In the past few years, school boards in Loudoun County, Virginia, have pushed gender ideology, sexualized reading materials, and critical racial theory into classrooms. Parents who are fighting with the Loudoun County School Board over their kids' educations have made news all over the country.
Meg Kilgannon, senior fellow for education studies at the FRC, says this about The Washington Stand:
Public schools across the country are facing more and more problems, such as a lack of teachers, too much medical involvement, falling test scores, problems with discipline, and even violence. Add to that the fact that parents felt betrayed not only by long school closures in some areas, but also by lessons that were too political or sexual.
Kilgannon's take on the drop in enrollment in public schools:
One way to protest is to show up at school board meetings. Another way is to pull your kids out of public school. Walking is a powerful vote. Even when our kids are grown, we must still be able to have our voices and ideas heard in the system.
Where do Americans learn if not in public school? Ginny Gentles, who runs the Education Freedom Center at the Independent Women's Forum and talks about school choice, is the director of the center.
“When parents realized that government schools prioritized unions and activists over students, they chose other education options,” Gentles told The Washington Stand. “Public school enrollment is plummeting, especially in the urban areas that abandoned children during the pandemic. Parents are flocking to alternative options, with charter school enrollment increasing by 7%, Catholic school enrollment increasing by the largest amount in 50 years, and parents exploring an array of homeschool options
Since the midterm elections are coming up and parents are thinking about school choice, many people think that education will be a big issue in the next elections.
Glenn Youngkin and Ron DeSantis, two Republican governors, show that parents care about the classroom and will vote based on that. Americans vote with their kids' education in mind, since enrollment in public schools is going down and people aren't happy with them.
The preceding is a summary of an article that originally appeared on The Daily Signal.