Buncombe County has more home schools per capita than any other county in the North Carolina, according to new data released by the N.C. Division of Non-Public Education and the Dept. of Administration.
Buncombe County had 1,754 home schools operating within its borders during the 2010-2011 school year, surpassed only by Wake County (4,269) and Mecklenburg County (3,300). But both of those counties have much higher overall populations than Buncombe: Wake County has 900,993 people, compared to Mecklenburg’s 919,628, while Buncombe has 238,319 residents, according to the 2010 census.
Statewide, the total number of home schools operating for the 2010-11 school year was 45,524, with an estimated student population of 83,609. The data shows that the number of home schools increased by 4.85 percent and the number of students increased by an estimated 2.51 percent from the previous year. Today, home-school enrollment represents 5 percent of the state’s overall student population, up from 4.9 percent last year. About 65 percent of the state’s home schools have a religious affiliation.
North Carolina officially legalized home-based instruction starting with the 1985-86 school year. The law defines a home school as “a non-public school in which one or more children of not more than two families or households receive academic instruction from parents or legal guardians, or a member of either household.”
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