Homeschool numbers in Mat-Su may double

    In the wake of COVID-19, it appears the number of homeschool students may double in the Mat-Su Borough, which is home to the state’s second largest school district.

    Speaking to the Mat-Su School Board on May 20, Superintendent Monica Goyette said a recent survey by the district indicated that the number of parents who want to home educate next year will rise from 2% to 4%.

    The survey polled 4,939 parents around the Mat-Su Borough.

    The results reflect widespread interest across the state in homeschooling as parents decide how to best foster the education of their children in the wake of COVID-19 disruptions and uncertainty about the start of the next academic year.

    Goyette told the board that a jump in homeschool enrollment would mean a loss in revenue for the school district overall. It is “critical” she said that the district promote enrollment in its traditional brick and mortar schools in order to maintain its current level of public funding.

    “One is the revenue that we receive for them,” she said of traditional public-school students. “If they migrate to correspondence it is almost half of the amount for the state, so that could be a large amount. So, we need to solve that.”

    Statewide and district correspondence programs, however, are experiencing a surge in homeschool enrollments leading up to next year, and several have begun hiring new staff and enhancing their facilities to accommodate students who are switching over.

    The survey of Mat-Su parents indicated that 71% want to continue with onsite attendance at brick and mortar schools, 13% prefer a blended model and 12% desire remote education. About 2% want to switch to homeschooling and 2% want to continue with homeschooling.

    Click here to view all publicly funded homeschool options in Alaska.

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    Joel Davidson
    Joel Davidson
    Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 20 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.

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