In the last three weeks, Home School Legal Defense Association has contacted six Pennsylvania school districts on behalf of member families who received form letters requesting their student’s test scores or entire portfolio of records.
This means that even though we’re approaching the three-year anniversary of significant improvements to Pennsylvania’s homeschool law, many public school districts across the state continue to enforce the old requirements.
Under Pennsylvania’s current homeschool statute, parents are not required to submit test scores to their local school district. The passage of House Bill 1013 in October 2014 eliminated this requirement.
Instead, home education program supervisors (usually the parents) are required to submit only a certification of progress from a qualified evaluator who has reviewed the portfolio of records (which includes test scores in grades 3, 5, and 8). The school district superintendent must defer to this certification and is under no obligation to perform an independent review of educational progress as was required in the past.
This commonsense change was meant to eliminate duplicate portfolio reviews by school officials when the portfolio had already been reviewed by a credentialed educator. But some school districts have not yet taken advantage of the opportunity for efficiency.
HSLDA has not received a response from any of the school districts. However, we hope that the form letters these districts send to homeschooling families will be updated for next school year. Last year, we sent letters of clarification to over a dozen school districts with only positive responses from districts who were not yet familiar with the law change.
If you have questions about what is required to legally homeschooling Pennsylvania, please contact our office.