Celebrating National School Choice Week
New study shares perspectives of New Hampshire home education and nonpublic school parents
CONCORD, NH — With a demand for flexibility, transparency and accountability, celebrations are taking place throughout the nation in recognition of National School Choice Week from January 21 through January 27.
“Knowing that every child learns differently, school choice allows parents to find the best education option for their unique child. Parents throughout New Hampshire and across the country have voiced their strong desires to secure schools that best meet the needs of their children,” said Frank Edelblut, education commissioner. “Here in New Hampshire, school choice is offered in a variety of ways, including traditional public schools, public charter schools, nonpublic schools, home education, learning pods, Learn Everywhere and Education Freedom Accounts. Giving families more choices will be the catalyst that helps education satisfy all students’ needs, which is one of the most important factors to their academic success.”
This week, the Children’s Scholarship Fund of New Hampshire and the National School Choice Awareness Foundation are hosting an annual School Fair in celebration of National School Choice Week, which is open to the public from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, January 27, at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester.
“Every year, National School Choice Week is the largest celebration of opportunity in education in the United States. With more than 27,000 events all over the country, parents, students and educators in all types of learning options … are all getting involved and inspired,” said Shelby Doyle, Vice-President of Public Awareness for the National School Choice Awareness Foundation.
New Hampshire is a pioneer for school choice and has fought to rethink how education can empower students in all types of learning environments. New Hampshire currently has about 17,870 nonpublic school students and enrolls additional home education students each year. Recently, the New Hampshire Department of Education (NHED) partnered with Gallup to conduct a survey to gather perspectives of current nonpublic and home education parents.
Overall, 334 New Hampshire parents participated in the survey, which included 220 nonpublic school parents and 114 home education parents. Some of the key findings include:
- Parents are satisfied with their current education option, with 84% of nonpublic school parents indicating that their child’s current education provider is their first choice.
- Individualized instruction is the primary incentive for families who choose home education.
- Between 70% and 78% of nonpublic school parents selected four factors as major reasons why they initially pursued home education or nonpublic school, which includes a better academic instruction fit, better quality curriculum, more individualized academic instruction and an emotionally or mentally safe environment.
- About 40% of those surveyed said their child attended a public or public charter school in New Hampshire before switching to a nonpublic school or home education.
- About 94% of those surveyed said their children were either academically on track or ahead in their academic growth.
“When it comes to education, New Hampshire knows how to ‘live free.’ Each year, thousands of Granite Staters participate in school choice programs that empower parents to provide the best education for their children. That’s definitely something to celebrate during National School Choice Week,” said Educational Choice Attorney David Hodges with the Institute for Justice.