Starting a Private School in Pennsylvania
Regulations, Resources, & Support
Pennsylvania State Regulations
Pennsylvania mandates licensing for K─12 private academic schools, except schools owned or operated by or under the authority of bona fide religious institutions, schools that are owned by colleges or universities, schools for the blind or deaf receiving Commonwealth appropriations, or schools accredited by accrediting associations approved by the state board of education. Religious-based schools are required to be registered with the state instead. All schools can choose to be accredited in lieu of meeting other requirements.
The Pennsylvania Department of Education has assembled a page of detailed requirements for private schools.
The US Office of Innovation & Improvement has assembled a summary of regulations for private schools operating in Pennsylvania.
Homeschooling must be done by a parent, guardian or licensed tutor.
The Pennsylvania DOE has no published requirements for school insurance -- consult a professional for guidance in this area.
State Funding Sources & Support
Teacher Certification & Hiring
Religious schools do not need to employ licensed teachers, but other schools must.
Food Services / Lunch
In Pennsylvania, school lunch requirements, including funding for schools offering the National School Lunch Program, are managed by the Department of Education.
Length of School Year
School must be in session a minimum of 180 days.
Recordkeeping & Reports
Schools must report names, addresses, and attendance information for all students attending the school.
Healthy & Safety Requirements
Students must be immunized or provide documentation of exemption. Schools must have monthly fire drills.
Local school boards that provide transportation for public school students to school must provide identical transportation services for nonpublic school students enrolled in nonprofit schools within the district boundaries or outside the district boundaries at a distance not exceeding 10 miles by the nearest public highway.
There is no state testing policy.
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Oregon State Resources
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We gathered so much information that we had to break it down into 10 chapters. This free information is well-researched- we even hunted down the rules and regulations for each state! If you're thinking about starting a private school, you will find this guide very handy!
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