There are numerous educational options available to Pennsylvania (PA) parents, including public schools, cyber charter schools, private schools, private tutoring, and home education programs.
Public schooling options are free of cost to families, including the traditional public school district, and career and technical schools.. Today, many school districts also offer their cyber options that may include both online and classroom experience. Inquiry at your district whether this option is available. Use the link below to research public schools in PA.
Another public school option would be a charter school that operates under a school district, but serves a very specific population of students (i.e., Arts students) Finally, parents have the option of a public, PDE approved cyber charter school, which is a free online public school that provides everything your child needs to complete their education from home.
Charter Schools/Cyber Charter Listing.
There are many private school options, including schools related to religious institutions. These do not include online or correspondence courses, but rather are actual "brick-and-mortar" buildings where students obtain in-person instruction. Although not all of these schools are licensed, they are recognized by the Commonwealth.
Listing of private schools.
Home Education Programs
Home education programs (also known as homeschooling) are programs where the education of the student is directed by the parent or guardian or such person having legal custody of the child or children.
- The supervisor of the home education program must have a high school diploma or its equivalent. Examples include a diploma awarded by a home education supervisor after October 31, 2014 or a diploma awarded by an approved diploma-granting organization (Act 196 of 2014); or a Commonwealth Secondary School Diploma awarded by passing a high school equivalency test or completing 30 college level credits from a United States accredited postsecondary institution (22 Pa. Code §4.72).
- All adults living in the home and persons having legal custody of a child or children must not have been convicted of the criminal offenses itemized in
24 P.S. §1-111 (e) within five years immediately preceding the date of the affidavit.
Private tutoring is another option for satisfying compulsory school attendance requirements. For families interested in hiring a private tutor (PA certified teacher) rather than having parent- directed education for their children, we include a section in this guide on
Private Tutoring Programs, along with the related laws and regulations.
A parent or guardian may act as a private tutor for their own children if they are a PA-certified teacher. Background checks and other regulations apply.
Privately tutored students may obtain a
Commonwealth Secondary School Diploma by passing a high school equivalency test or completing 30 college level credits from a United States accredited postsecondary institution.
More information regarding Commonwealth Secondary School diplomas.