Charter & Homeschooling

​Parents seeking alternative education choice for their children will find several options in the Pittsburgh region.

In 1997, Pennsylvania established charter schools. These educational institutions are self-managed public schools that are approved by local school districts and by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. They are created and controlled by parents, teachers, community leaders, and colleges or universities. Charter schools operate free from many educational mandates, except for those concerning nondiscrimination, health and safety and accountability. To learn more about the area's charter schools go to the Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools and the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Parents in Pennsylvania can also teach their children at home (Pennsylvania's law on home education is known as Act 169). A child can be homeschooled if the person teaching the child is a properly qualified private tutor or if a child's parent or guardian conducts a home education program for the children. Additional information can be found through Pennsylvania Homeschoolers.

External Charter Schools + Homeschooling Resources

PA Cyber Charter School

The Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School (PA Cyber) provides a free and appropriate education to Pennsylvania families using high-quality, accredited courses, certified teachers and state-of-the-art technology. For more information please visit

Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools

The Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools is the statewide voice for charter schools with the stated goals of helping every charter school to become a high-performing public school, making charters synonymous with educational quality, and being recognized as a national leader in driving quality and accountability in public education.

Pennsylvania Department of Education

Information on Pennsylvania's charter school system from the PA Department of Education.

Pennsylvania Homeschoolers

Pennsylvania Homeschoolers is a network linking homeschoolers in Pennsylvania. It organizes political action, provides for communication among homeschoolers, and organizes state-wide activities including a homeschool excellence day in the Harrisburg Capitol Rotunda.

Urban Pathways Charter Schools

The Urban Pathways Charter Schools mission is to help every child find a pathway to a successful adult life in the city and beyond. This free charter school is located in Downtown Pittsburgh.

How to Apply to College as a Homeschooler

Most homeschooling families still have questions about the college application process. Learn more about the elements of a college application, how homeschoolers do in college, available funding, and expert tips on making a successful transition. Information provided by the Community for Accredited Online Schools.

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