Thousands of students are leaving public schools for private schools or homeschooling in Indiana this year, according to Tony Kinnett, a curriculum developer, educator, and education policy journalist from Indianapolis, Indiana.
“The numbers are unreal,” Kinnett told NTD’s “The Nation Speaks” last Saturday. “It’s wild. There’s not really any other word for it.”
Kinnett said that normally there’s a common fluctuation of 5 to 10 in enrollment in many smaller Christian Schools, but this year, the numbers are up by hundreds per school in many cases.
“And one case in Greenwood, Indiana, the school has jumped almost double the number of students in attendance,” Kinnett said.
The Suburban Christian School in Greenwood, Indiana, recorded 320 students last school year and has so far already registered 551 students for the coming school year, according to Kinnett’s report, “Record-Breaking Education Exodus in Indiana,” which was released on Monday.
Kinnett obtained enrollment data from 319 private schools in Indiana, 154 of which have seen an enrollment leap of at least 30 students from last school year. Forty-nine schools saw enrollment numbers increasing by at least 150 percent from the previous year. Some schools have to place new student candidates on “wait lists,” as their maximum capacities have been exceeded, the report noted.
The reason for the exodus is a “multiplicity of factors,” Kinnett explained, saying he talked to lots of parents—about 50 parents last week.
“Parents are really upset with that huge number of things going on in our public schools,” Kinnett told NTD. “They’re upset with the quarantine that caused a huge learning gap in schools in the last year and a half. They’re aggravated with Critical Race Theory [CRT], social-emotional learning; they’re aggravated with children being required to wear masks, regardless of vaccination status—all of these small issues have piled up and really put so much pressure that it seems this dam is bursting.”
By Li Hai and Cindy Drukier