February 16, 2011
Wesley Burt

Home education becoming more mainstream in Oklahoma

As this year�s Oklahoma Home Educators'�Capitol Day approaches, a new SoonerPoll finds that a majority of Oklahomans, 55.7 percent, know someone who currently home schools their children.� The poll found that only 42.5 percent of respondents do not know anyone who prefers to educate their children at home while 1.8 percent of respondents are unsure.

Respondents were asked:��Many parents prefer to educate their children at home instead of sending them to school. Do you know of anyone that currently home-schools their child?�

An Education Next-Harvard PEPG survey conducted last year asked a similarly worded question in 2010 and found that only 36 percent of respondents nationwide knew a family that home-schools, while 64 percent did not.

�This is an indicator that home schooling has become more mainstream in Oklahoma than in many of other states,� Brandon Dutcher, Vice President for Policy at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, said., Oklahoma�s public opinion pollster, was commissioned for this poll by the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs.� conducted the scientific study using live interviewers by telephone of 508 likely voters from Jan. 24 � Feb. 3. The study has a margin of error of � 4.35 percent.

The Oklahoma Home Educators'�Capitol Day is an event held every year to encourage home schooling families and students to build relationships with lawmakers.� Protecting the right parents have to home educate their children from future regulation is one stated goal of the event, which will be held February 17.

The event also gives families the opportunity to demonstrate that home education is a viable option for providing an education.

�Home schooling is an educational option that more and more parents are embracing, and I expect that trend to continue,� Dutcher said.

Dutcher went on to mention that many home school graduates have recently made headlines in Oklahoma, including two 21-year-olds who were elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives in November.

�People are getting accustomed to seeing home-schoolers win things like spelling bees and robotics competitions,� Dutcher said. �And then last month a 17-year-old home-schooler is crowned Miss America, while Miss Oklahoma, another home-schooler, finishes in the top five. Then last week Prudential Financial and the National Association of Secondary School Principals honored the top six youth volunteers in Oklahoma�and three of them are home-schoolers.�

When the results are broken down by party, it is revealed that 60.3 percent of Republicans know a family that home-schools compared to just 52.9 percent of Democrats.

Similarly, the likeliness that a respondent will know a home schooling family corresponds directly to his or her political ideology.� Only 44.8 percent of those who consider themselves very liberal know a home schooling family, compared to 53.6 percent of moderates and 62.9 percent of those who are very conservative.

Wesley Burt
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Wesley Burt