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N.C. Home-Schooled Students Outnumber Private School Students for First Time

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By Karla Scoon Reid. Cross-posted from K-12 Parents and the Public

More North Carolina students are being educated at home than in private schools, according to figures released by the state for the 2013-2014 school year.

It's apparently the first time that the Tar Heel State's home-school enrollment has outpaced private school enrollment. The News & Observer reports there were 98,172 home schoolers in 2013-2014, while 95,768 students attended private schools. State figures also showed a 14.3 percent increase in the number of home schools over the previous year. There were 60,950 home schools in North Carolina in 2013-2014.

According to the story, the state's home schools increased by 7,603 since 2012, adding more than 10,000 students, which is larger than the enrollment of many school districts. It's important to note, however, that North Carolina's public schools enroll roughly 1.5 million students.

Still, Beth Herbert, founder of Lighthouse Christian Homeschool Association, told the News & Observer that concerns about the Common Core State Standards are mentioned as a factor in parents' decisions to teach their children at home. Could common-core criticism be fueling North Carolina's boost in home schoolers?

Meanwhile, state lawmakers passed legislation last month that establishes a commission that will make recommendations to the state board of education regarding potential revisions to common-core standards in English/language arts and math. 

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