Raleigh, N.C. — The number of home schools in North Carolina grew in the 2011-12 school year, but their total enrollment fell, officials said Wednesday.
Almost 48,000 home schools operate statewide, up from 45,524 in 2010-11, according to the state Division of Non-Public Education. Wake County has the largest number, at 4,419. Cumberland County ranked seventh statewide, with 1,393 home schools, while Johnston County is ninth, with 1,068 home schools.
The estimated statewide home-school enrollment in 2011-12 was 79,693, down from 83,609 the previous year.
Officials said the enrollment numbers disclosed by the home schools or the number of active home schools could be off, which could explain the drop in estimated enrollment. North Carolina laws for non-public school don't require home schools to disclose enrollment beyond one student.
The estimated home school enrollment represents about 5 percent of the state’s student population.