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Opposition to parents as private tutors

So far during the 2002-2003 school year, Home School Legal Defense Association has assisted parents in five different school districts when public school officials objected to the parents serving as a "properly qualified private tutor" for their children under Pennsylvania law. These parents are state-certified teachers and qualify as private tutors under 13-1327(a) of Pennsylvania Statutes Annotated. According to this statute, a properly qualified private tutor is a person "who is certified by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to teach in the public schools of Pennsylvania; who is teaching one or more children who are members of a single family; who provides the majority of the instruction to such child or children; and who is receiving a fee or other consideration for such instructional services." The private tutor must file a copy of his Pennsylvania teaching certificate and a criminal history record with the local public school superintendent.

The local school districts objecting to this educational option do so for one of two reasons. Either they say that a parent may not serve as a private tutor for his own child but may do so for someone else's child, or they contend that a parent serving as a private tutor must also comply with the statute governing home education programs, 13-1327.1. In each case, HSLDA Attorney Dewitt Black has contacted the local school district and pointed out that the statutory language defining and qualifying a private tutor does not exclude parents from teaching their own children or require the parents to comply with the law governing home education programs. This assistance was rendered to HSLDA member families in Hopewell Area, Wilson, Moon Area, Conestoga Valley, and Northeast Bradford school districts.

HSLDA stands ready to defend this educational option for parents who are state-certified teachers and desire to avoid the burdensome administrative requirements of the law governing home education programs.

Dewitt T. Black