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RANGELY I During the last decade, the number of home-schooled students has been steadily increasing nationally and in Rangely.
According to the National Home Education Research Institute, the number of students home-schooled across the nation is growing as fast as 8 percent per year with a national average of 3 percent of total U.S. students being educated at home.
The exact number of Rangely students who are home educated is hard to determine.
Parents who homeschool their children are required by Colorado State Law to submit a “Letter of Intent to Homeschool” annually to a public school district. However there is no requirement that this letter be submitted to their local district, and a parent who is a licensed teacher in Colorado does not have to meet this requirement.
Rangely School District has received notices for 30 students for the current school year. With a total student population of 540, this means that Rangely is slightly higher than the national average with a total of 5 percent of local students receiving a home-based education.
Rangely Schools Superintendent Matt Scoggins says the large number of homeschool students “significantly impacts the district financially.” The schools miss out on approximately $7,000 per student per year that they are not in a classroom.
Julie Noyes, a home schooling mom and administrator for the Rangely Homeschool Hangout, a local home-school cooperative, said their group alone has approximately 28 school-aged kids who attend their monthly activities.
Noyes stated she tries to be as supportive of the schools as possible, stating, “Good schools make a good community, so most home-schoolers are really supportive of schools.”
When asked about her reasons for choosing home schooling Noyes sited a combination of reasons, the primary one being a desire for a Christian-based education for her children.
Noyes feels that “Parkview and the Junior/Senior High are full of wonderful people doing wonderful work. The problem is that the government and what they are requiring of teachers as well as changes they are making to the curriculum.” Noyes feels passionately that “any way you can educate a child well, I support it.”
With education trends changing around the country it appears that more parents are choosing to educate their children at home, both in Rangely and nationally.