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About PHEA

Pennsylvania Home Educators Association (PHEA) is an inclusive statewide coalition of home educators whose primary purpose is to provide accurate information and advocate for Pennsylvania home educators.

  • PHEA believes in the freedom to home educate with confidence and without fear.
  • PHEA actively endorses efforts to reduce or eliminate regulation, control, and oversight of home educators.
  • PHEA believes knowledge equals empowerment.
  • PHEA encourages its members to freely exchange information regarding home education.
  • PHEA is not associated with any religion or educational methodology.

During the Pennsylvania legislative session of 2000 – 2002, HB2560 was introduced by Representative Sam Rohrer to provide legislative relief to beleaguered PA home educators.

While HB2560 was defeated in the House Education committee in November 2002, hopes to improve the home education climate in Pennsylvania remain as strong as ever. Pennsylvania Home Educators Association (PHEA) was created to advocate for these changes. PHEA is a coalition of home educators providing information gleaned from our cumulative experience with PA home education law since it’s passage in 1988.

It is the goal of PHEA to provide accurate information and facilitate communication and networking within Pennsylvania’s home educating community. While PHEA is an inclusive organization, PHEA actively endorses efforts to reduce or eliminate regulation, control, and oversight of home educators.

Please take the time to read the PA Home Education Law, Act 169-1988.

After you have read it, carefully consider how you are to comply with the law. The Constitution guarantees us the right to live without fear and compels law makers to write laws that the reasonable person can understand and, therefore, obey. Home education in PA is a political hot potato because there is conflict between many school district administrators and home educating parents. The administrators subscribe to the idea that the control of a child’s education resides in their hands while home educating parents believe that their children’s education is the parents’ responsibility and that there is Constitutional protection from excessive state interference in that education.

Some cautions:
1. You may be asked for a copy of your high school diploma. You need not supply it. The PA Department of Education has published a letter stating that interpretation of the law. A copy can be obtained if you need it.

2. You may be asked to provide copies of the children’s medical records. You have the right to object but should do so in a notarized letter. Samples of such letters, if you need or want them, are available.

3. Compulsory attendance begins at age EIGHT in PA and kindergarten is optional. The child must be eight by the end of the second week of school in the fall in order to enter as a beginner. That means a child who turns eight sometime after the middle of September does not need an affidavit, etc. until the year he or she turns nine. The exception is the Philadelphia School District. Act 61 of 2008 lowered compulsory attendance age from 8 to 6 for this district only (for now). Home educators are exempt by filing a notice of intent.

4. School districts may request, or even demand, information that Act 169 does not require you to submit, for example: social security numbers, birth dates, grades, etc. The PA Department of Education is willing to provide a letter to anyone confronted with these extralegal demands.

5. You get to decide what grade your children are in, not the school district.

6. Your school district may make every effort to force you to over comply (“All the other Homeschoolers in our district do this…”) but be advised that no good will come of this kind of over compliance. The law is there to delineate what is required of you, and what is required of the school district. Obeying it and expecting the district to obey it is your very best protection from any trouble in the future.

Information from PHEA is NOT intended as legal advice. It is the result of the cumulative experience of many PA home educating families, your circumstances may differ. If you come across a situation you feel may benefit PA home educators, please share your knowledge. Permission for free distribution of all information is granted as long as PHEA is noted as the source. When material is copyrighted, permission for distribution is granted as long as copyright is included with materials.

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