Saturday, 16 November 2013

The Effect of Homeschooling on the Economy

By Stephanie Canavan
Her author profile can be found below this article.

I’m sure everyone has heard at least one negative quote from anti-homeschooling politicians or superintendents that belittles home education, claiming it “robs the system of resources” and results in “socially inferior citizens”.  But results are showing that not only is homeschooling saving the government large quantities of funds, but also resulting in a higher quality of education and return on investment, which in turn can significantly benefit economic growth.

Homeschooling is often overlooked in regards to the economy since it is classified under household production in the circular flow diagram. Household production is when a household produces a product or service for itself instead of purchasing it from a firm or other entity and, since there is no market transaction, it is not taken into account when calculating GDP.  Many people may incorrectly assume that this means household production has absolutely no effect on the economy. In fact, it is often thought that homeschooling deprives the economy of resources as it requires a parent to stay home to educate their child instead of entering into the workforce.  However, just because it is not valued monetarily into GDP now does not mean it will have no effect upon the future economy.

Public school is often looked upon as a free alternative to homeschooling, however many neglect to remember that running the public schools is costing the United States national and state governments around $10,600 per child to educate them in the public system.  These funds come directly from tax payers, and are not always spent as affectively as they could be.  Conversely, the total number of homeschooled children are saving the government between 4.4 and 9.9 billion taxpayer dollars annually. This is a significant amount and with the number of homeschoolers increasing, as seen in the below graph, it will likely save the government even more in future years.

It is a well-known economic principle that investment in education can be one of the most effective ways to grow an economy.  Not only does homeschooling save the government money, but also results in a higher return on education. As seen in the below graph, homeschoolers have a much higher percentile than public school students as, on average, they are receiving a higher level and quality of education.  These measures of academic success show the value of education, as it can translate into new discoveries in technology that can further grow the economy.

Not all situations of homeschooling are the same, and it cannot be fit into every lifestyle, but the savings it incurs to the government and higher quality of education show that homeschooling can be very beneficial to an economy.  Although, as household production, it may not count into GDP now, the economic benefits of a better education can have significantly positive implications in the future economy. Hopefully, these facts of how homeschooling benefits an economy will earn it some respect and cause some politicians and school administrators to think twice before they belittle the value of a home education.

Graphs courtesy of:

About the author:

Stephanie is a high school senior studying in the US. Her favorite subjects include French, Economics, and Statistics.  She plans to pursue business management in college.  In her spare time she enjoys Irish dancing, cooking, and soccer.  This is her first essay publication and she hopes you enjoy reading it!

1 comment:

  1. Do you have a question about how to homeschool or about which homeschool curriculum is best for you? They might help -



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