Background & Data
The data used for this dashboard comes from the U.S. Census Bureau's Household Pulse Survey. The survey was a collaboration between Census and other federal agencies to better assess the social and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on U.S. households.
As Census notes: "These data are experimental. Users should take caution using estimates based on subpopulations of the data – sample sizes may be small and the standard errors may be large."
Standard errors are used to calculate confidence intervals around an estimate. A smaller standard error indicates the estimate is more precise. Generally speaking, the standard errors are smaller for larger populations and larger for smaller populations.
For example, in the latest release of the Household Pulse Survey there are an estimated 56,747,633 children enrolled in public schools and the standard error was 806,641 (1.4% of the overall public enrollment figure). The private school population was estimated at 6,408,603 and the standard error was 311,026 (4.9% of the overall private enrollment figure). The homeschooled population was estimated at 3,616,525 with a standard error of 201,200 (5.6% of the overall homeschool figure). Even for a large state like Texas, looking at a sub-population like Homeschooled Hispanics we get much larger standard errors. The estimated number of Hispanics homeschooled is 142,326, the standard error is 98,811 (69.4% of the overall Hispanic homeschool figure).
The data provided by Census can help shine light on key trends in K-12 education, but users should interpret them with caution, especially at the state level.