A rare instance of an unexpected consequence of a bad policy advancing liberty is the growth in private schools enrolment and homeschooling that occurred as a result of the covid lockdowns. An October 2023 study by Eloise Burtis and Sofoklis Goulas of the Brookings Institution found that 79 percent of American school-age children were enrolled in government schools in the 2021-2022 school year, down from 84 percent enrolled in government schools in 2019-2020. The decline in children attending government schools accelerated because of the lockdowns, and enrollment in government schools continues to decline.
Other researchers have found similar results. For example, the Urban Institute’s Thomas Dee found that during the pandemic hundreds of thousands of children left government schools for private schools and homeschooling.
In October of last year, the Washington Post reported that since before the covid lockdowns there was a 51 percent increase in homeschooled children. The Post labeled homeschooling “America’s fastest growing form of education.“
The lockdowns served no public health purpose. In fact, the social isolation imposed on children by the closures of schools and even playgrounds did more damage to children than covid ever could.
However, the lockdowns did have a long-run benefit by increasing the number of parents rejecting government schooling. The school closures allowed many parents to see for themselves the problems with government-controlled education. Parents were horrified to witness their children logging on to Zoom and then being force-fed woke propaganda instead of receiving a quality education. Parents realized they had a choice: either allow their children to continue to receive an inferior education or seek out an alternative that would provide their children a quality, woke–free education.
Many parents were inspired to seek alternatives to government schools when teacher union officials used their political clout to keep government schools closed even after most business and government offices were open. It turns out that actions of Dr. Anthony “I represent science” Fauci, teacher union officials, and authoritarian politicians who worked to keep government schools closed ended up advancing the popularity of alternatives to government schools.
Parents looking to provide their children with a quality home-based education that promotes real learning that does not push a political agenda but does instruct in the history and philosophy of liberty should look into my homeschooling curriculum. My curriculum provides students with a well-rounded education that includes rigorous courses in history, mathematics, and the physical and natural sciences. The curriculum also provides instruction in personal finance. Students can develop superior communication skills via intensive writing and public speaking courses. Another feature of my curriculum is that it provides students the opportunity to create and run their own businesses.
The government and history sections of the curriculum emphasize free-market economics, libertarian political theory, and the history of liberty. However, unlike government schools, my curriculum never sacrifices quality education to promote a political agenda. Interactive forums allow students to engage with and learn from each other and give them an opportunity to interact with their peers outside of a formal setting.
I encourage all parents looking at alternatives to government schools — alternatives that provide children with a well-rounded education that introduces them to the history and ideas of liberty without sacrificing education for indoctrination — to go to RonPaulCurriculum.com for more information about my homeschooling program.