Look Here: Predicting 2020 Requires 20/20 Vision


By LeiLani Cauthen


Nearly every school district in America is seeing some degree of student attrition. Except for cases of rapid population growth or regional migration, traditional public schools are witnessing a phenomenon unseen in our lifetimes. Families are just saying “No” to the public classroom experience and instead are opting for homeschooling, charter and magnet schools, virtual schools or a blending of multiple options. This year, 27 percent of school-aged children have opted out. Next year, that number is expected to climb above 30 percent. If trends continue unabated, by 2030 we may be looking at nearly 50 percent of school-aged children walking away from traditional public education in this country.

One out of every two children. Let that sink in a minute. At what point do we pull the plug? I don’t know about you, but I find this bit of information staggering. Is there a silver bullet to this downward spiral in student enrollment, or will public education be irreparably changed?

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