In the Fall of 2014, PA House Bill 1013 simplified what is required of homeschoolers in Pennsylvania, but increased the burden of responsibility for evaluators. Please make sure your evaluator is aware of these changes, and be prepared to pay a bit more since your evaluator is now the only one ultimately responsible for declaring that an appropriate education has taken place for each student evaluated.
- You no longer need to take your student’s portfolio to your public school superintendent or principal for the year-end review. Parents will still be required to keep documentation for health checkups, immunizations and achievement testing in Grades 3, 5 and 8, and have the student’s program evaluated by a qualified evaluator of the parent’s own choosing, but the superintendent must accept an evaluator’s written report that an appropriate education is occurring. You must get your evaluator’s written report to your school district by June 30.
- The new law establishes an administrative procedure to resolve any claim by the superintendent that the parent has failed to comply with any aspect of the homeschool law. Under the old law, this procedure was only used to determine whether the student was receiving an appropriate education. This means that you must still keep thorough documentation, including the affidavit, copy of parent’s diploma, immunization records and learning objectives which you still submit to your school district when you start homeschooling each year.
- High school diplomas issued by either the parent or an approved diploma-granting organization (like PHAA or ECHSA (Erie) must be given the same rights and privileges as other diplomas (e.g. public or private school diplomas) by the Commonwealth, including consideration for financial aid by the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency. Before opting for a parent-issued diploma, please check with the requirements of potential colleges for admissions and scholarships.
- The special requirements of the original law for Special Needs Students remain the same.