Pennsylvania is widely known as one of the most restrictive states in the nation in regard to governmental oversight of homeschooling, second only to New York State. Pennsylvania’s homeschooling laws were originally written in the 1980s, when homeschooling was a new and largely unchartered territory. Since that time, study after study has established homeschooling as a popular and effective educational option. These studies also indicate that homeschoolers in low-regulation, mid-regulation, and high-regulation states (such as Pennsylvania and New York) all perform approximately equally in standardized testing, and in every case outperform public school testing results.
House Bill 1013 will improve homeschooling conditions in Pennsylvania by removing the redundant requirement that school district superintendents review annual portfolios for every homeschool student in their district. These portfolios are already required to be evaluated by an evaluator who meets the requirements of the Pennsylvania Home Education law.
House Bill 1013 will also provide homeschool families, with the approval of the portfolio evaluator, the opportunity to issue a state-certified high school diploma. Currently, parent-issued high school diplomas are not considered legal diplomas, even if the student meets or exceeds the lengthy list of requirements set forth in Pennsylvania’s own homeschool laws.
Therefore, we the undersigned urge Governor Corbett to insist that the Pennsylvania House and Pennsylvania Senate bring House Bill 1013 to his desk for his signature prior to October 15.