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Amid coronavirus, Nebraska’s homeschool filings jump up 21%

July 18, 2020 GMT

A growing number of Nebraska parents are choosing to homeschool their children amid the coronairus pandemic.

The Nebraska Department of Education had processed 3,400 requests as of Tuesday, up 21% from the 2,800 that had been processed at the same time last year. The total includes parents who were already homeschooling last school year.

Officials said the numbers may go higher still as parents continue to evaluate the reopening plans of their children’s schools, the Omaha World-Herald reports.

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Stephanie Morgan, a longtime homeschooling parent and advocate involved with several homeschooling organizations in Omaha, said she’s been fielding a lot of questions from moms interested in homeschooling. Morgan ran an informal survey on social media and found that most new Nebraska homeschooling parents were doing it because of the pandemic.

Among them is Melissa May, who has decided to homeschool her twin 8-year-old daughters, Gracelyn and Hannah.

“I think the pandemic just gave me a little extra push to do it and give it a try now instead of waiting,” said May, whose girls were students in the Bellevue Public Schools last school year.

Nebraska has confirmed 22,361 known cases and 301 virus-related deaths since the pandemic began, according to the state’s online tracking portal.