New Homeschool Law Changes!
Here is the text from the PA Dept. of Education regarding the new Homeschool Diplomas:
– Parent-issued diploma: Act 196 of 2014 modified the law to allow parents to award a state-recognized home education diploma to their children. The Act became effective for diplomas granted beginning October 31, 2014. The requirements for this diploma follow.
(1) The supervisor must submit an affidavit to the superintendent of schools in their district of residence for the student’s twelfth grade (graduation) year
(2) The student must complete the graduation requirements of the law while enrolled in the home education program (see the Curriculum section)
(3) The home education evaluator fulfills the legal requirements as a secondary level home education evaluator (see the Evaluators section)
(4) The evaluator’s twelfth grade evaluation for the student is submitted to the school district and this evaluator co-signs the diploma confirming the student has completed the graduation requirements of the law
(5) The diploma is awarded to the student on a standardized form developed by PDE
by Senior Counsel Dee Black
On October 31, 2014, Governor Tom Corbett signed into law House Bill 1013, legislation that significantly improves the homeschool law of Pennsylvania. Here’s what the new law does:
The changes in the law are effective immediately. This means that parents homeschooling this year in Pennsylvania are not required to submit their portfolios, standardized test results, or any other materials to superintendents for evaluation at the end of the school year. They still must compile and maintain the same records and materials in their portfolios, but they need only submit their evaluator’s certification that their children are receiving an appropriate education.
Special appreciation goes to Representative Mark Gillen (Dist. 128), who championed the effort to get this bill passed and shepherded it through the legislature. Credit also goes to the Christian Homeschool Association of Pennsylvania (CHAP), which sponsored two lobby days at the Capitol for homeschoolers to speak with their legislators about HB1013 and continually encouraged homeschoolers to contact senators and representatives about supporting the bill. This victory is the result of a concerted effort by all freedom-loving homeschoolers in Pennsylvania.
The text of the homeschool law has been published, and you can read the law at the link above.
What does all this mean to you?
1. Standardized Testing – By law, students in grades 3, 5 and 8 must STILL BE TESTED. Results MUST be included in the portfolio for the evaluator to review. Results do NOT get submitted to the school district anymore. As an evaluator I will continue to expect to see standardized test results for students in grades 3, 5 and 8.
2. Portfolios – EVERYTHING remains the SAME about portfolios EXCEPT that portfolios will only need to be evaluated once. You are NOT required to hand the portfolio in to the school district. All elements of the portfolio must still be present for a legal evaluation to be conducted. More info on what is required for portfolios and documentation can be read about on my page entitled: PORTFOLIO AND DOCUMENTATION
3. Evaluations – EVERYTHING remains the SAME about evaluations and letters of evaluation except that ONLY the evaluation LETTER needs to be submitted to the school district by June 30 each year. You can either submit the evaluation letter by registered mail with a signature confirmation form or visit the school district office and get a letter of receipt.
4. Diplomas – This part of the PA Dept of Education website IS updated, however, according to the Home School Legal Defense Association, the "Department of Education has Created an Unauthorized Diploma." HSLDA has determined the “new” diploma is outside the realms of the new law. Read about it here.
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