(RALEIGH NEWS AND OBSERVER) — North Carolina’s home schools are growing at a record rate and are now estimated to have more students than the state’s private schools.

New figures from the state show there were 60,950 home schools in the 2013-14 school year, a 14.3 percent increase from the prior year and a 27 percent increase from two years ago. The state estimates there are 98,172 home-schoolers, marking the first time that North Carolina’s home-school enrollment has surpassed the number in private schools.

Last school year, there were 95,768 students at the state’s private schools, a total that’s been dropping annually since the 2007-08 school year.

“If you’re dissatisfied with public education, you really have two routes,” said Kevin McClain, president of North Carolinians For Home Education, a statewide support group. “You can send your child to a private school — which is really expensive — or you can home-school. The economy means that, for many people, you home-school.”

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