Parents are looking for a different kind of education for their children. A 2024 poll of parents reveals that 72% are considering, 63% are searching for, and 44% have selected a new K-12 school option for their children over the past few years. So, what type of education are they seeking?

Additional polling data reveals that 49% of parents would prefer their child learn from home at least one day a week. While 10% want full-time homeschooling, the remaining 39% of parents desire their child to learn at home one to four days a week, with the remaining days attending school on-campus. Another parent poll released this month indicates that an astonishing 64% of parents indicated that if they were looking for a new school for their child, they would enroll him or her in a hybrid school.

The K-12 model for part-time on-campus and part-time at-home education is commonly referred to as hybrid homeschooling, College-Simulated Learning for K-12, or University Model (a trademark member school association). Hybrid homeschooling can entail parents overseeing certain subject areas while outsourcing the remaining subjects to a campus school (an a la carte hybrid model). Other times, hybrid homeschooling involves a student taking some courses online and some on campus.

In a different hybrid model, referred to as College-Simulated Learning for K-12 (or by its trademarked membership association name of University Model), the school provides the teachers, curricula, and assessments for all learning subjects and equips parents to actively facilitate learning during the home days. Each subject has on-campus time and at-home components with parental involvement.

The current supply of these hybrid models is nowhere near what is needed to meet the demand of the 39% of parents seeking this schooling approach for their children. Consequently, education entrepreneurs have a tremendous opportunity to launch these alternatives as new schools, or new delivery models within existing schools and districts.

Within the private school arena, the massive expansion of education savings accounts, private school scholarships, and private school tax credits that has occurred over the past few years — including 11 states have now enacted universal or near-universal school choice — has opened the door to meet the demand, with funding equipping parents with the ability to pay. With creativity, the tuition price point for these hybrid models can be kept at or below the amount of education savings account, scholarship, or tax credit funding families receive. In other words, not only is there a huge market of parents wanting this model, but almost all parents in 11 states, and parents who qualify in additional states with school choice programs to varying degrees, now have the needed finances to select it — if available.

Similarly, within the public school sector, there is an opportunity for charter schools as well as district schools to employ the hybrid model, where the benefits of increased parental involvement would be transformational. Additionally, the model would allow school facilities and certain school personnel to serve twice as many students since students would only be on campus two or three days a week, depending on their grade level — leading to enormous cost savings for taxpayers.

A public school district does not need to convert to this model district-wide. A pilot could be started at just one school — perhaps starting with kindergarten and expanding to one higher grade each school year as those students advance. The hybrid model could be similarly incorporated in one grade at a time for an existing charter school. With the launch of a new charter school, the model could immediately extend to all offered grades.

The model is needed in both the private and public sectors. Yet, it is forecasted that the growth in the private school market will increase the fastest due to private schools’ flexibility from some state laws and the school choice funding that millions of parents now have access to.

Of course, some legislative changes may be needed to enact hybrid school models. Seat time requirements and per-student funding formulas may require adjustments depending on the state. However, these hurdles are much lower than in years past as the K-12 public education crisis has helped reform efforts advance, and legislators know loud and clear that parents want more education options for their children. Even in states whose policymakers are hostile to parental empowerment through school choice, there is growing receptivity to creating new delivery models within the public school system. Online learning within public schools continues to grow as one example.

Obviously, a parent, grandparent, or other supervising adult needs to be present during the at-home learning days and actively involved for the hybrid model to work. This is becoming feasible for a growing number of families, as more parents than in decades past either work from home full-time or have the flexibility of a hybrid work schedule.

While the hybrid learning model is not for everyone, parents by the droves are looking at it favorably because it allows them increased time with their children, a more active — yet not sole — role in their children’s education, and increased flexibility to customize their children’s schooling based on their unique learning needs and strengths.

With 72% of parents considering new school options and 39% of parents wanting a hybrid model, there is an urgent demand. There is no better time for business leaders, educators, entrepreneurs, and parents to step into this space and meet this need.