The affidavit and accompanying attachments must be submitted to the superintendent's office before a home education program may begin. The initial affidavit may be submitted any time during the school year, but all subsequent affidavits are due by August 1. See 24 P.S. § 13-1327.1 (b).
Homeschooling is a right and the school district's permission or approval is not needed, as long as the required documentation is submitted with the affidavit. See 22 Pa. Code § 11.31a.
Obtaining an Affidavit
Sample affidavit forms for your use are attached to the Home Education Program Basic Education Circular (BEC) containing all and only what is required by law. The Home Education Program BEC may be accessed from the list of BECSs.
Additionally, you may use a form provided by your school district or you may create your own affidavit, following the requirements in the home education law. See 24 P.S.13-1327.1(b1). For students identified as needing special education under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), please refer to the Exceptional Students section of this Home Education website.
The Affidavit and Attachments
The affidavit covers the school year (July 1 – June 30). The affidavit should be turned in to the superintendent's office no later than August 1 of each school year a child is homeschooled. The exception is the first year a student is homeschooled; that initial year the home education program may begin homeschooling at any time during the year, as soon as an affidavit and supporting documentation is submitted.
If a parent wishes to teach year-around, the affidavit may be submitted as early as July 1 so the schooling may begin. The cut-off date for completion of a school year is June 30, when the portfolio documentation is due to the superintendent of schools of residence. See 24 P.S. § 13-1327.1 (b).
The documentation required to begin a home education program includes:
- the affidavit proper, which must be notarized.
- the immunization record (as an attachment; see below),
- the medical record (as an attachment; see below), and
- an outline of proposed education objectives by subject area (as an attachment; an outline of what you intend to teach for each subject during the year).
Immunization and Medical Records
Districts are required to ensure immunization and medical records are current. See 24 P.S. § 13-1303a in the Health Laws and Regulations section of this Home Education website. Home education programs must provide evidence that these requirements are fulfilled. See 24 P.S. § 13-1327.1 (b).
The requirement for immunization and medical records for homeschooled students may be satisfied in one of three ways:
- submit the actual records,
- submit a letter from the doctor stating that the legal requirements have been fulfilled or there exists a medical condition that prevents immunization, or
- submit a letter stating that you have a religious objection to either immunization and/or medical examinations.
Immunization requirements can be found on the Department of Health's website.
Medical record regulations are defined in 28 Pa Code Chapter 23 (23.1 – 23.11).
Home Education Program Supervisor
The supervisor of the home education program is defined as "the parent or guardian or such person having legal custody of the child or children who shall be responsible for the provision of instruction, provided that such person has a high school diploma or its equivalent."
24 P.S. § 13-1327.1 (b)(1), which delineates the contents of the affidavit, does not ask for evidence of the diploma; therefore, the notarized affidavit is sufficient "proof" of a diploma or its equivalent. The home education supervisor is not required to submit or show to the school district their diploma or its equivalent in order to supervise a home education program.
Requirement for Students with Special Needs
For any child identified by the provisions of the Education of the Handicapped Act as needing special education services (excluding those identified as gifted and/or talented), the program must address the specific needs of the exceptional student and be approved by a teacher with a valid certificate from the Commonwealth to teach special education or a licensed clinical or certified school psychologist. This written notification of approval must be submitted with the notarized affidavit. See 24 P.S. § 13-1327 (d). For further information, see the Exceptional Students section of this Home Education website.
Age and Affidavits
The law requires that children begin formal education by the age of eight (8) years, reached no later than the first two weeks of the school district's school year. For example, if school begins on September 1, but a child turns 8 on November 1, that child is not required to begin their formal education until the following year. Refer to the Age of Enrollment and Attendance section of this Home Education website for more details.
The affidavits and mandatory courses are divided by grade levels:
- Elementary school level (grades K-6)
- Secondary school level (grades 7-12)
Philadelphia City School District
In Philadelphia, children must be enrolled in school if they have attained the age of six (6) years on or before September 1. If a parent wishes to homeschool, they do not need to submit an affidavit until age 8, but the parent must submit an "Intent to Homeschool" letter by age 6 stating that they intend to homeschool and will submit the proper affidavit by the age for homeschooling.
Last updated March 14, 2012