Triangle parents turn to homeschooling amid COVID-19 safety concerns

HOLLY SPRINGS, N.C. (WTVD) -- Amy Dunham has two boys who go to Holly Grove Elementary School in Holly Springs. She will be homeschooling them both this fall because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I don't know that any parent really wants to ever homeschool their children, but it's one of those things you feel like it's best for your kids as a parent," Dunham said.

Nearly 95,000 students in North Carolina were homeschooled during the 2019 - 2020 school term, according to data from the state Department of Administration.

That number will likely be higher this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Peyton, who will soon start fourth grade at NCVA, has some advice for the many kids who will start online learning for the first time next month.

Dunham said she has safety concerns about sending her boys back to school, among other concerns.

"I feel this constant transition between being in school full-time for a full week and full days is going to be way too hard on my kids, and then also the two weeks of at-home--there's no routine," Dunham said.

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Dunham said she doesn't want to enroll her boys in the Wake County Public School System's Virtual Academy because she feels she doesn't have enough information on the plan.

"There hasn't been enough information for me to make that choice," Dunham said. "It felt like too much of an unknown. They have said explicity on their website that it is not going to look like remote schooling, but they haven't said what it's going to look like, so we're just supposed to trust them on that. It seemed unnerving to me."
Last week, ABC11 asked Wake County Public School System Superintendent Cathy Moore how homeschooling will impact funding.

"Clearly each district receives funding based on the number of students it serves," she said. "If families make a choice to homeschool their students, that would be funding that the district did not receive."

The district will receive funding for students enrolled in the Virtual Academy.

RELATED: Your Wake County Public Schools reopening plan questions answered here

Families who homeschool their children self-report to the North Carolina Division of Non-Public Education, which is housed under the Department of Administration.

Enrollment numbers are released every year at the end of July.

Do you have questions about sending your child back to school? Let us know.

For more information about homeschooling, click here.
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