ERIC Number: ED378700
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994
The Impact of Structural Costs on Home Schooling Decisions in Rural and Non-Rural Districts.
Thompson, John A.
This paper presents findings of a study that examined the relationship between structural conditions and parent proclivity to educate their children at home. The term "structural costs" was used to refer to conditions within the district that could be changed by the district. Data were obtained from a survey sent to the departments of education in five states with widely different regulations for home schooling--Wisconsin, Michigan, Washington, Oregon, and Nevada. The data from each state were divided into two groups based on the percent of home-schooled students in each of the selected districts. The first analysis step conducted t-tests for independent samples. The independent variable was percentage of home-schooled students in the district--high or low. Dependent variables included per-pupil costs (PPC), reading scores, type of district (rural, isolated, or nonrural), local mill rates or percent of local resources in the PPC, and percentage of free and reduced lunches. Next, multiple regression analysis was conducted. Findings indicated no correlation between student reading scores and the rates of home schooling. Rural, independent, and nonrural districts did not demonstrate differences between high and low home-school districts on any of the academic measures. Oregon was the exception in each of these findings. Some support was found for the hypothesis that district socioeconomic conditions influence parents' decisions to home school their children. Only in Oregon and Michigan did per-pupil cost affect the decision to home school. The data overwhelmingly demonstrated no support for a linkage between structural costs and parents' proclivity to home school. It is concluded that school-linked matters are not responsible for the dramatic rise in the percent of students being home-schooled in the United States. (LMI)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Finance Association (Nashville, TN, March 16-19, 1994).