Pennsylvania Compulsory Education Laws

Whether you’re a kid wondering why you have to go to school or a parent wondering how to meet your child’s schooling requirements, it is important to know which education laws apply and how. Here is a quick introduction to compulsory education laws in California.

Education Law Generally

American children of a certain age range are required to enroll in some type of formal education, which may include private school or homeschooling. State compulsory education laws generally hold parents accountable for their children's schooling. Pennsylvania compulsory education laws require children between the ages of eight and 17 to attend school, with some exceptions.

Compulsory Education Law in Pennsylvania

The specifics of Pennsylvania compulsory education laws are highlighted below.

Code Section

Tit. 24 §§13-1326, et seq.

Age at Which School Attendance is Required

Between 8 and 17

Exceptions to Attendance Requirements

Graduated high school; 15 and with approval, child may enroll in private trade school; enrolled in home education program pursuant to Tit. 24 §13-1327.1 or private school; physical/mental defects rendering education impracticable; 16 and lawfully employed; 15 and engaged in farming or domestic service or 14 if engaged in same having achieved highest elementary grade; resides over 2 miles from nearest public highway, school or free public transportation is not furnished

Home School Provisions

File annual notice with a notarized affidavit of various information including proposed education objectives and immunization record; evaluation by teacher or administrator; minimum course requirements at each educational level; portfolio of records and materials

Penalties on Parents for Noncompliance

Up to $300, together with costs and upon default of payment subjected to county jail up to 5 days

Mandatory schooling is still the norm, but there are several exceptions to compulsory education laws, including some for religious beliefs. States also typically grant exemptions to children who attend home school so long as they meet the same educational standards required of public and state-accredited private schools. Additionally, many states, including Pennsylvania, offer work release permits that allow students to work a limited number of hours outside of the school during a normal school day.

Pennsylvania Compulsory Education Laws: Related Resources

When it comes to interpreting state statutes, educational law can be confusing. If you’d like to continue your own research, you can visit FindLaw's Compulsory Education section for more general information. If you would like legal help with an education matter, you can contact a Pennsylvania education attorney in your area to discuss your case.

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