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Types of Schools

The commonwealth’s K-12 education system serves more than 1.7 million students. Pennsylvania’s 500 school districts range in size from approximately 200 students to more than 140,000 students. In addition to traditional public schools, more than 160 brick-and-mortar charter schools and 14 cyber charter schools are responsible for educating 135,000 students. Pennsylvania’s 29 Intermediate Units (IUs) provide special education, professional development, and technical assistance services to school districts, charter schools, and private schools. Career and technical education programs are provided at 136 high schools and 84 career and technical centers, offering over 1,720 approved programs of study to more than 66,000 students. 

Pennsylvania is also home to nearly 300 postsecondary and higher education institutions including 14 community colleges, 14 state-owned institutions, and four state-related universities. In addition, there are eight private, state-aided institutions and 88 private colleges and universities.  In the 2015-16 school year, these public and private institutions awarded more than 187,000 postsecondary credentials ranging from industry-recognized certifications to doctoral and professional degrees.

Pennsylvania’s educational system also encompasses a network of 604 state-supported public libraries and 29 District Library Centers, which provide resources, technology, and programs that support pre-K to 12 students, as well as adult learners, in all 67 counties.

Learn more about each type of school in the commonwealth by clicking on their name below.