Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 39 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 1/8/22

COVID-19 and the End of Government Schooling's Main Value Proposition

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   2 comments
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Thomas Knapp

Andrew Classroom De La Salle University.
Andrew Classroom De La Salle University.
(Image by Wikipedia (, Author: Malate269)
  Details   Source   DMCA

In mid-2020, I mused that if the COVID-19 pandemic ended up producing any silver linings, the most likely bright spot would be its impact on government -- so-called "public" -- education. Throughout the previous spring, government schools had largely shut down in-person classes, switching to ad hoc and, it seems, fairly lame, "remote learning."

Some besieged, bedraggled parents held out hope for an autumn return to the previous normalcy. Others looked at the "remote learning" setup and decided they (perhaps in cooperation with other parents) could do a better job themselves -- if not permanently, at least until the emergency was over.

By the fall 2020 semester, according to the US Census, the percentage of homeschooling households in America had doubled, from 5.4% of households to 11.1%.

That may have been just the beginning of a long-term trend.

Parents choose government schooling versus homeschooling or vice versa for many reasons, not all of them related to the overall better academic achievement (15-30% better performance on standardized tests, for example) homeschooling boasts.

One BIG reason is financial. In an age when nearly every parent works (regardless of whether the family is single- or multi-parent), homeschooling can mean significant loss of income. At least one parent has to be home to teach, rather than on an outside job.

The value proposition government schooling offers is: "Sure, we do a fairly crappy job of teaching your kids to read, write, and do arithmetic ... but hey, who turns down free daycare?"

The pandemic threw a wrench into that value proposition. Suddenly, the kids weren't disappearing on a yellow bus each morning, leaving Mom and/or Dad available to work a shift and earn a paycheck.

With "remote learning," many parents had to either quit jobs or invest significant portions of their income in daycare. Some of them decided to turn "remote learning" lemons into homeschooling lemonade.

Others muddled through as best they could, waiting for that return to normalcy (or homeschooled in the interim with plans to send their kids back to government schools when possible). Because, after all, emergencies don't last forever, right?

Now it's January of 2022 and another problem with that financial equation, and with the government school value proposition, is rearing its ugly head: Reliability.

Parents who made the best of a bad situation while holding out hope that the government schools would get their act together Real Soon Now find themselves caught in a new cycle of alternating expectation and disappointment as we come up on "700 days to slow the spread."

Will the government schools be in session this week? How about next week? And the week after that? Who knows?

Those parents can't assure current or prospective employers that they'll be available to work next week, or the week after, or the week after that.

They're caught in the same "quit my job or fork over for daycare" trap they've spent the last two years in, with the added irritant of nearly daily uncertainty.

And many more of them are almost certainly eyeing the homeschooling exits.

Must Read 1   Well Said 1   News 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Thomas Knapp Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism ( He lives and works in north central Florida.

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

2020: I'm So Sick of Superlatives

America Doesn't Have Presidential Debates, But It Should

Hypocrisy Alert: Republicans Agreed with Ocasio-Cortez Until About One Minute Ago

Chickenhawk Donald: A Complete and Total Disgrace

Finally, Evidence of Russian Election Meddling ... Oh, Wait

The Nunes Memo Only Partially "Vindicates" Trump, But it Fully Indicts the FBI and the FISA Court

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend