By Marjorie Jackson, featuring Ginny Gentles, director of IWF’s Education Freedom Center

This summer, students aren’t the only ones dreading going back to the classroom. According to staggering enrollment data, parents appear to have had a case of back-to-school blues over public education since COVID-19’s onset in early 2020.

In the past two years, a mass exodus of over 1.2 million students has left the public school system as parents seek alternative education routes, such as public charter schools, private schools, and homeschooling.

If not public school, where are Americans turning for education? Ginny Gentles, director of the Education Freedom Center at Independent Women’s Forum, explains the demand for education alternatives and school choice.

“When parents realized that government schools prioritized unions and activists over students, they chose other education options,” Gentles told The Washington Stand. “Public school enrollment is plummeting, especially in the urban areas that abandoned children during the pandemic. Parents are flocking to alternative options, with charter school enrollment increasing by 7%, Catholic school enrollment increasing by the largest amount in 50 years, and parents exploring an array of homeschool options.”