The law allows for a student to be privately tutored and the school district's approval is not required. See 22 Pa Code § 11.31 (b) (1).
The following laws and regulations apply:
- 24 PS § 13-1327 (a): Definition of a private tutor and filing requirements
- 22 Pa Code § 11.31: Private tutoring requirements, curriculum and documentation
- 24 P.S. § 12-1205.1. (e): Act 48 status not required
- 24 P.S. § 13-1332: Reports of enrollments; attendance and withdraws
- 24 P.S. § 13-1333: Truancy
- 24 P.S. § 1-111 (e): Background checks
- 22 Pa Code § 11.33: Dual enrollment
A private tutor must be certified by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to teach in the public schools of Pennsylvania. No person who would be disqualified from school employment by the provisions of 24 P.S. § 1-111 (e) may be a private tutor. The private tutor must file a copy of his Pennsylvania certification and the required criminal history record with the student's district of residence superintendent. See 24 PS § 13-1327 (a).
Consult the Background Checks webpage for a description of the documentation for the "required criminal history record."
Tutoring must be to a single family, not a quasi-school where students gather for instruction. They provide the majority of the instruction to their students for which they receive a fee or other consideration for their instructional services. See 24 PS § 13-1327 (a).
The private tutor instructs and monitors the student's progress, replacing the parent’s responsibility to submit the portfolio documentation to the superintendent of schools. However, the parents must provide written assurance to the superintendent by June 30 of each school year that the instructional requirements have been met. See 22 Pa Code § 11.31 (b).
Nevertheless, if a superintendent receives a complaint that a student is not being provided instruction for the time prescribed or that a student is not making satisfactory progress in the tutoring program, the superintendent may request evidence of student academic progress and documentation that instruction is provided for the required number of days and hours. Thus, the parent or the private tutor should maintain portfolio-like documentation. See 22 Pa Code § 11.31 (b).
The private tutoring law defines what must be taught and the amount of time that must be spent in instruction. These are similar to the homeschooling requirements.
Elementary level students (grades K-6) must include: English, including spelling, reading and writing; arithmetic; geography; the history of the United States and Pennsylvania; science; civics, including loyalty to the State and National government; safety education, including regular and continuous instruction in the dangers and prevention of fires; health, including physical education and physiology; music; and art. Either 180 days or 900 hours of instruction are required.
Secondary school level students (grades 7-12) must include: art; English; health; mathematics; music; physical education; science; and social studies, including civics, world history, United States and Pennsylvania history. Either 180 days or 990 hours of instruction are required.
Secondary school level students (grades 7-12) may include, at the discretion of the tutor: economics, biology, chemistry, foreign languages, trigonometry or other age appropriate planned instruction as contained in Chapter 4 (relating to academic standards and assessment).
Graduation requirements: there is no direct path to graduation for a privately-tutored student; there are no graduation requirements. Students that are privately tutored may take the GED tests and then obtain a Commonwealth Secondary School diploma. See the Diplomas section of this Home Education website and 22 Pa Code § 11.31 (a).
The private tutor is to report to the district the lists of the names and residences of all children between six (6) and eighteen (18) years of age they are tutoring, report when they cease to tutor these students, and notify the district of any such child who has been absent three (3) days, or their equivalent, during the term of compulsory attendance, without lawful excuse. See 24 P.S. § 13-1332.
A school district may allow students that are homeschooled or being privately tutored to attend classes in the district’s schools. Credits that are taken by dual enrollment count toward curriculum requirements. This provision of services is totally dependent on the school district’s policy and not mandated. See the Dual Enrollment paragraph in the Curriculum section of the Home Education website and 22 Pa Code § 11.33.
Registering with the District
A private tutor must provide their teaching credentials to the district.
The Department has announced the coming changes on tracking certification. Here is the verbiage from an August 23, 2010 Penn*Link sent to all LEAs:
We request that the "official" verification of a credential/certificate be done via the website at http://www.education.state.pa.us. Select the "Teachers" button in the middle of the page, and "Teacher Certification System". You can see the current status of a pending application and/or a certificate issued. This page can be printed for your files until the paper certificates are mailed.
The use of the website verification system will be the "official" source for certification verification once the new certification system, the Teacher Information Management System (TIMS), is completed and online. The new system will issue an electronic certificate that may be printed by the school district or the applicant. However, paper documents will no longer be considered the "official" source for verification, the display of the credential on the website will be considered "official". Many states have already moved to electronic certification verification to prevent manipulation or modification of paper credentials and to provide faster processing of credentials.
The new TIMS system is scheduled to be online by June 2011. Paper certificates will no longer be available at this time.
These instructions currently take you to the teacher certification website.
Continuing Education (Act 48)
The law specifically exempts evaluators and private tutors from having to maintain an active status for Act 48 Continuing Professional Development. This means a private tutor does not have to maintain Act 48 hours. See 24 P.S. § 12-1205.1.
A teacher may check their Act 48 status at the PERMS website.
Last updated 7/20/2012