If you found your way here, you may be wondering, “Can I choose what school my child goes to in Pennsylvania?” Here in the State of Pennsylvania, there are many different school options you can consider for your child. That includes homeschooling and traditional public schooling as well as charter schools, private schools, parochial schools, magnet schools, learning pods, and online schools. If you're trying to research all the different options yourself, it can be a lot. But it’s all about finding a school that can provide the type of learning that meets your child’s specific needs.
Every child is unique, and they all learn in their own way and at their own speed. What happens to work for one kid won’t necessarily work for every child. If the local brick-and-mortar public school isn’t able to meet your child’s educational needs, there are other options out there for you. As more school choice options become available in PA, hopefully more and more schools will work to improve their educational offerings.
Maybe you live in a school district that isn’t the best. Or maybe your child has had problems with bullying, peer pressure, or gossip at their current school. So, you may be asking yourself, “Is there school choice in PA?” The straightforward answer is yes — you can select the school that your child attends in Pennsylvania. These rules differ from state to state. There are many different public-school alternatives that you can explore.
Additionally, through open enrollment, students are able to attend schools that are outside of the district they reside in, as long as it’s approved by the district that’s receiving them. And if you want your child to attend private school but can’t quite afford it, you may be able to apply for a scholarship tax credit program. Eligible students must have a household income that falls below the statutory income limit. And they must live in or be assigned to one of the lowest-achieving schools in the state, under 15%.
If your child is just starting school, you may not be sure which school district you actually live in. Public school districts set up their own open enrollment policies and boundaries, so they can balance their enrollment. If you have any questions, you should be able to contact the local school district and make sure your child is assigned to their school. If you want to send your child to another public school or a virtual charter school, regardless of where it’s located, open enrollment will allow you to do this.