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Graduation Requirements – New Law

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The PA state legislature recently expanded the graduation options open to students who are being educated at home.  The choices for recognizing graduation from a home education program include the following:

1.  A parent issued diploma signed by an evaluator.  To use this option, the supervisor of the home education program must have filed an affidavit for the senior year of high school, REGARDLESS OF THE AGE OF THE STUDENT, obtained an evaluation, and submitted the evaluation to the superintendent of the school district of residence.  The only PA recognized parent issued diploma is the form provided on the PDE website, according to the PA Homeschool law.
No affidavit and evaluation = no diploma!

2.  A diploma program diploma, such as MDHSA’s diploma. To use this option, the supervisor of the home education program must have filed an affidavit for the senior year of high school, REGARDLESS OF THE AGE OF THE STUDENT, obtained an evaluation, and submitted the evaluation to the superintendent of the school district of residence.
No affidavit and evaluation = no diploma!

3. A Commonwealth diploma.  To use this option, the student must have completed 30 college credits.  More research is being conducted to determine if the credits must be distributed in any particular manner.  No affidavit is necessary.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE TWO MOST COMMONLY CHOSEN OPTIONS FOR HOME EDUCATED STUDENTS REQUIRE THAT AN AFFIDAVIT BE FILED, REGARDLESS OF THE AGE OF THE STUDENT, THROUGH THE COMPLETION OF HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS.  THE STUDENT MUST BE EDUCATED UNDER SECTION 1327.1 OF THE PA PUBLIC SCHOOL CODE.  THERE CAN BE NO EXCEPTIONS.  (THIS INCLUDES RECEIVING AND SUBMITTING YEARLY EVALUATIONS.)

SOME SCHOOL DISTRICTS TELL PARENTS THAT AFFIDAVITS AND EVALUATIONS ARE UNNECESSARY FOR STUDENTS WHO EXCEED COMPULSORY ATTENDANCE AGE.  IF THE SUPERVISOR OF THE HOME EDUCATION PROGRAM DESIRES TO AWARD ANY STATE RECOGNIZED DIPLOMA, AN AFFIDAVIT MUST HAVE BEEN FILED FOR THE FINAL YEAR OF SCHOOL. If there is a concern that the school district will not accept the affidavit, keep a copy of the affidavit and send it certified mail return receipt requested.  When the signed green post card is received, staple it to the copy of the affidavit.
Additional information regarding “Option 3” (above)…..

To apply for a Commonwealth Diploma, students must have earned 30 college level credits, remedial and ESL credits are not acceptable.  The credits must have been earned from a US accredited post-secondary institution.  All classes which meet this criteria count.

Applications for this diploma are free:   CSSD APPLICATION

ADVISEMENT:  Based on communications with the state by the Diploma Program Director and an MDHSA Diploma Program Evaluator, this option is the equivalent of a GED.  For military enlistment, recipients go in as a Tier I as opposed to Tier II with a regular GED.  Currently, the military is not accepting Tier II enlistments.


MDHSA does not discriminate against families on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin.

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