There are many web sites that provide a wealth of information about homeschooling in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Department of Education’s web site includes much information about home education and private tutoring in Pennsylvania, including frequently asked questions about home education and copies of the laws about home education and private tutoring. (For those of you without access to the Internet, we have attached the Department’s Frequently Asked Questions and Answers to this fact sheet.) The web site also includes a comprehensive list of home education organizations serving Pennsylvania families. The address for this web site is www.pde.state.pa.us/home_education/site/default.asp. You can also contact the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Home Schooling Office at (717) 787-4860.
There are two other excellent web sites developed by parents’ organizations that provide information about the laws on homeschooling in Pennsylvania and materials, such as curricula, to assist families in home education. These sites are www.pahomeschoolers.com, operated by the Pennsylvania Homeschoolers, and www.phen.org, operated by the Pennsylvania Home Education Network. Pennsylvania Homeschoolers can also be contacted at: RR2 Box 117, Kittanning, PA 16201 (724-783-6512).
Some school districts in Pennsylvania have also approved “cyber” charter schools that operate solely over a computer network. For example, the Western Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School opened in September 2000. This school can be contacted at (724) 643-1180. Parents who are interested in homeschooling might consider these “cyber” charter schools as an alternative to a home education program. (However, cyber charter schools usually have their own curriculum that students are expected to follow.) For more information about charter schools in Pennsylvania, please see the Department of Education’s web site at www.pde.state.pa.us/charter_schools/site/default.asp.
You may also wish to contact a local attorney if you have more detailed questions about the laws related to home education. The Education Law Center is unable to provide specific advice to parents concerning homeschooling questions.
For more information, call the Office of Counseling and Promotional Standards at 215-400-4810.