askPauline's Homeschool Info askPauline's Guide to Homeschooling in PA

Pennsylvania Department of Education Home Education Liaison

 

Homeschoolers have a lot of choices available. Please take the information you find useful from these pages and ignore the rest.

Many people, including me, will give opinions on the PA homeschooling law.  I believe that everyone should read the law for themselves, read a few opinions about it, and decide for themselves what approach makes sense for their family.

The PA Home Education Law

I might be wrong! I am not a lawyer! Your circumstances may be different! This page, and others on this site, are not intended as legal advice. School districts vary considerably in their interpretation of the home education law. Please double-check legal information with appropriate sources. In particular, the PA Dept. of Ed. may be helpful.

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This web page by Pauline Harding for Art Nurk.
Contents may be copied if credit is given.

If you have questions about whether your district is following the law, it is probably worth a call to the PDE. The PDE's School Services Unit "serves as a central point of inquiry for advice and assistance to school administrators regarding the School Laws of Pennsylvania; the State Board of Education regulations; and related programs, services and policies. School Services also responds to parent inquiries and handles complaints related to student enrollment." In other words, if you or your school district has questions about the law, the School Services Unit is a good place to start. You may also want to check the PDE's home education web pages, which were updated in June 2011.

In the past, Sarah Pearce was the homeschooling liaison in the School Services Unit at the PDE. I found her to be friendly and helpful a number of times. In the past, she had called districts to help straighten out problems, and had written letters to explain the PDE’s interpretation of the law. 

Sarah J. Pearce, Advisor, School Services Unit, Office of Elementary/Secondary Education,
Pennsylvania Department of Education
333 Market Street, 5th Floor, Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333
Phone: 717-783-6610 (voicemail available)
e-mail: spearce@state.pa.us 

There is now a new homeschooling liaison at the PDE, Suzanne Tallman. If you have questions about whether your district is following the law, it might be helpful to call. She should be able to explain the PDE's interpretation of the law, and if you and the PDE believe your district is getting it wrong, she may be able to help. The state does not charge a fee for these services. If Ms. Tallman is not available, you can also call the PDE’s School Services Unit.

Suzanne Tallman
Pennsylvania Department of Education
333 Market Street | Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333
Phone: 717.214.8212

Ms. Tallman's email has been RA-home-education@state.pa.us, but may be changing to RA-home-education@pa.gov. Please check the PDE web site to verify that you are using the correct address.

Please note that, even if the PDE disagrees with your interpretation of the law, that doesn't mean you can't convince your district to go along with you. See my District Problems Page for details. You will also want to read The PA Home Education Law yourself.