COVID-19, Pandemic, Homeschooling, Alternative forms of schooling, Children, Family, Parental Rights, Education, Regulations


Homeschooling was rapidly growing in the U.S. even before COVID-19. The pandemic accelerated this growth by quickly exposing nearly every American family to homeschooling in some form. The pandemic has ushered in a new age of homeschooling characterized by flexibility, technology, collaboration, and alternative forms of schooling beyond the traditional parent-teaching-child framework. Although the Supreme Court has never recognized a fundamental right of parents to homeschool their children, it has repeatedly recognized that parents have the right to direct their children’s education and to choose to educate them in the way they deem fit. There is debate as to what level of scrutiny homeschooling statutes and regulations should be subjected to, but it is clear that the states must balance their own interest in ensuring children have access to education with the presumption that parents may direct their children’s education, and the strong historical basis for doing so in the home. States currently impose varying degrees of regulation with no uniformity and little enforcement. As homeschooling grows, the law must develop to support parents who choose to homeschool while imposing enough regulations to which the state can keep records of every student, track students’ progress, and increase the visibility of these students to protect them from abuse. This can be accomplished through annual notice requirements, certification of work by certified educators, minimum education requirements for homeschool educators, and wider homeschooler access to public extracurricular programs.



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