‘Freest’ state in the nation sees homeschooling explosion amid blue state exodus

Idaho has long been one of the freest states in the country and refugees from West Coast Democrat-controlled areas are fleeing to the conservative stronghold so they can homeschool their children without crushing government oversight.

Massive growth is occurring in the Gem State as people from California, Oregon, and Washington ditch their leftist overlords in search of a freer environment. They no longer want to watch their children being indoctrinated in government schools and have decided to take their kids’ education into their own hands.

“A lot of people from California, Oregon, even from Washington, [where] the political climate is driven by more liberal enclaves, conservatives have begun to feel like their voices aren’t being heard in those states and in those communities and have opted to move out into a more conservative state,” Audra Talley, who is a board member for the nonprofit advocacy organization Homeschool Idaho, told Fox News Digital in an interview.

Idaho is one of the fastest-growing states in the nation. That’s primarily due to migration from other states according to the Post Register which pegs Idaho as the fourth fastest-growing state in the country. The U.S. Census Bureau noted that percentage-wise, it ranks fourth due to population growth exploding between 2022 and 2023.

Along with population growth, homeschooling has really surged in the state. Unlike other states, Idaho does not have reporting requirements for homeschoolers which many parents find desirable.

“According to research from the Homeschool Hub at Johns Hopkins University, more students left public school to homeschool in the 2022-23 school year (nearly 4,000) than they did before the coronavirus pandemic (less than 3,000). The research, using data from the Idaho Department of Education, also found more homeschooling students are accessing public school services than before the pandemic,” Fox News reported.

Talley believes that families are moving to Idaho because it is freer, more conservative, and has far less government involvement.

“Idaho is the freest, out of three or four states in the country that offer homeschooling as an option with very minimal regulation and [little] direct oversight,” she remarked.

“Idaho law does not require any notification in order to begin or continue homeschooling. No test scores or work samples need to be filed,” Homeschool Idaho points out. “You are not required to provide any information about what curriculum you intend to use, your education level or teaching experience, or anything else about your home or homeschool.”

Because of the freedom homeschoolers enjoy in Idaho, Talley’s group is very leery of the school choice movement or any other group that seeks to hand greater control over to the government. It took decades of fighting legal battles for homeschooling in Idaho to enjoy the freedom they have today.

“We’ve spent 30, 40 years of fighting for the autonomy of homeschool parents to educate their children as they see fit, with little intrusion on the part of the state. Right now, we’ve shifted from the mentality of the state needing to control, by threat of force, that education, to now the state going, ‘Well, here’s some money to do what you already do.’ And our concern with that is, as soon as you offer money to do something that you’re already doing as a homeschooler — money always comes with strings attached,” she correctly asserted.

(Video Credit: Schoolhouse Rocked)

That tooth-and-nail fight has made the state very attractive to conservative parents who want to educate their children in a moral, learning environment.

“A 2023 analysis of voters who moved in from other states depicts a red wave crashing down on Idaho. Californians led the pack, with 75% registering as Republicans and a mere 10% registering as Democrats. More than 60% of Washington and Oregon transplants who registered to vote in Idaho did so as Republicans,” Fox News wrote.

“Idaho is a very conservative state politically and socially. And we’ve had a large movement of people moving out of higher tax states, less conservative states coming into Idaho,” Talley commented. “So we’ve had, with that, more people interested and exercising their ability and their right to homeschool, and Idaho is a great place to do that.”

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