Pauline's Guide to Homeschooling in PA
FAQ's About the New Pennsylvania Home Education Law
On This Page:
The links in the text to the right provide more detailed information about various aspects of the home education law.
What The Law Says About Portfolios
"In order to demonstrate that appropriate education is occurring, the supervisor of the home education program shall provide and maintain on file the following documentation for each student enrolled in the home education program:"
""Appropriate education" shall mean a program consisting of instruction in the required subjects for the time required in this act and in which the student demonstrates sustained progress in the overall program."
"An evaluator's certification stating that an appropriate education is occurring for the school year under review shall be provided by the supervisor to the superintendent of the public school district of residence by June 30 of each year."
"The evaluation shall ... be based on an interview of the child and a review of the portfolio … and shall certify whether or not an appropriate education is occurring."
The parents hire an evaluator of their choosing. Evaluators must meet certain legal requirements.
"If the supervisor fails to submit the certification due on June 30 to the superintendent, the superintendent shall send a letter by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the supervisor of the home education program, stating that the certification is past due and notifying the supervisor to submit the certification within ten (10) days of receipt of the certified letter. If the certification is not submitted within that time, the board of school directors shall provide for a proper hearing .. ."
Required Portfolio Items
Samples of Work
Standardized Test Results
(Most people, including the PDE, feel that not all subjects need to be taught each year - for example, PA history is usually covered in fourth grade in the public schools. See my Required Subjects page for more details, and talk to your evaluator about her standards.)
In October, 2014, the PA legislature passed significant changes to the home education law. The following is a quick overview of the changes, with everything you need to know to do your paperwork.
When you have a chance, I encourage you to read the entire home education law - there's a copy here, formatted so you can see what has been removed and what has been added.
The evaluation process has not changed.
What you submit to the school district superintendent HAS changed.
The beginning-of-the-year paperwork has not changed.
The October 2014 law change gives home educators a new option for their child's high school diploma - a state-recognized diploma awarded by the supervisor and signed by the evaluator. For this diploma:
If you want to award this type of diploma to your student, you should discuss with your evaluator what she wants to see in the portfolio so that she can confirm that the student has completed the graduation requirements and is therefore suitable for graduation.
There is more info on this diploma option here.
There are also some changes to the PA Diploma program option, mainly that these programs are now specifically mentioned in the law. See the new law for details.
There have been significant changes to the due process procedures outlined in the law. Most home educators will never have to deal with this, but it is worth having at least a basic understanding of the rules so you are prepared if your school district begins to take these steps against you. Know your rights!
These procedures cover the following scenarios:
There is a detailed explanation of the due process procedures here.