2022 has been a huge year for families around the country, many of whom have new or more accessible education options in their states. We track expansions or policy improvements to traditional public school open enrollment, public charter schools, public magnet schools, online learning, private schools, homeschooling, plus pods and microschooling.
In 2022, 16 states – Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, New Mexico, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, and West Virginia – all expanded at least one form of school choice.
In conversation with parents
With all those new opportunities came parent questions. Our team had the chance to answer parent questions on social media, WhatsApp, email, text messaging, and good-old-fashioned phone calls. That included 367 in-depth conversations about things like local scholarship options, how open enrollment works in their school district, options for better special education services, and how to make a school choice decision.
Generally speaking, we’re seeing more sustained interest, year-round, in school choice on a national level. Google Trends shows this well – interest used to drastically dip around the holidays and over the summer, with dramatic highs around School Choice Week every year. These trends still exist to some extend, but the median volume has risen annually.
And for the less chatty parents, there were good old fashioned Google searches. 1.6 million unique parents came to our website over the course of 2022, via search queries like “how to go to a school you’re not zoned for,” “schools near me,” “homeschooling,” and “learning pods.”
Our guide to open enrollment topped the list of most popular parent resources, and, to my surprise, state guides to all forms of school choice in Texas, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and North Carolina beat out our guide to online school within the top 10 pages on our site.
We also published some of my favorite resources we’ve ever created:
Conoce tus Opciones Escolares
We launched a brand new project to deliver school choice information and tools in Spanish through a dedicated project led by Krissia Campos Spivey, a longtime member of the School Choice Week team and the mind behind our increasing number of Spanish-language resources. With a brand new website, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook channels, and collaboration opportunities (plus a mention in USA Today), more than 21,500 people have visited our website and 4,500 have followed us on social media since launching the project on September 19.
School Choice Week
Of course, we started 2022 off with a bang celebrating National School Choice Week in January. Krissia‘s recap video can show you of those highlights better than I can tell you.