Pennsylvania is a leader in providing school choice options to parents.
Public School Choice:
Pennsylvania offers inter-district open enrollment.
Private School Choice:
Pennsylvania currently provides two different tax credits. The Educational Improvement Tax Credit program provides tax credits to businesses that contribute funds to scholarship-granting organizations (SGOs). To be eligible for the scholarships, family income cannot exceed $60,000 (plus $12,000 for each additional child). In 2012 Pennsylvania expanded its tax credit program by $50 million to provide private (or public) school scholarships to students assigned to the state’s 15 percent of lowest-performing public schools. Preference is given to students from low-income families.
The Center for Education Reform reports that Pennsylvania has a strong charter school law. According to the National Association of Public Charter Schools, there were more than 118,000 students attended the state’s 175 public charter schools in 2013.
The Keeping Pace with K-12 Online Learning report notes that Pennsylvania has no state-led online program, although it has submitted plans to create a state-led supplemental virtual program. Pennsylvania has 13 cyber charter schools and several district programs. These statewide cyber charter programs enrolled more than 32,000 students during the 2011-2012 school year, a 13 percent increase from the previous school year. Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School had 10,559 students enrolled in 2012.
In 2009, Pennsylvania’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit program, a corporate scholarship tax credit program, experienced a significant decrease in funding as a result of state budget cuts.
Click here for detailed information on Pennsylvania's public school system and see below for school choice contacts and a history of school choice legislation in Pennsylvania.