Support home schooling

I would like to ask local educators to give home schoolers a break. They are giving you one. Don’t think so? Look at some numbers. Our district, Bellaire Local Schools, had a per-pupil revenue in 2009/10 of $10,953 and a per-pupil expenditure of $11,526. That created a deficit per-pupil of $573.

A home schooling family pays taxes, but they don’t use the public schools. Ohio saved $10,953 (even if Bellaire Local Schools didn’t get it) per home schooled student. But Ohio as a state had more to give per pupil to each student enrolled. A drop in the bucket? That isn’t all! In a study of home schooled adults, according to the National Home Education Research Institute, none were unemployed and none were on welfare. You read that correctly: None. Adults who were home schooled therefore contribute to a stabilization of the long-term tax base for education in your local community. In contrast, undereducated, unemployed and poverty-level people are more likely to be incarcerated, thereby not contributing to the tax base at all, and costing taxpayers an additional $22,000 per year in Nevada, according to a study by John Wender and Andrea Clements called, “Homeschooling in Nevada.”

I won’t stop there, either. An average home schooled student scores 15-30 percent higher on national standardized tests than publicly schooled students, according to NHERI.

Worried about the education of the parents and their ability to teach? Home schooled kids of educated parents only have a 2.5 percent gain on standardized tests from parents who don’t even have a high school education.

If you subtract 2.5 percent from the low end of 15 percent higher scores of home schooled students in general, they still score 12.5 percent higher than the average publicly schooled child. Even if the statistics are off, there is at least a 10 percent jump.

Worried about socialization? Look at the college success rates and employment of home schooled adults. They function better in society than publicly schooled adults. They make better citizens. Seems to me it would be in the debt-strung local school districts’ best interest to encourage, not discourage home schooling. It might improve their situation over the long run.

Gwen Giffen