One of the greatest rewards of becoming a tutor in Pennsylvania is helping students learn and grow.
Homeschool tutors is also a smart path to take if you want to own a business. It has a dependable clientele, low startup costs, and minimal overhead. In addition, with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, homeschool tutoring could be the way of the future. Many in this profession work independently with local families in homeschooling situations permitted by state law.
The Pennsylvania Department of Education allows private tutors to teach, there are requirements to meet. Some homeschool groups try to circumvent this by omitting the fact that tutoring is the primary source of education and claim they are the teacher on the required Home Education Affidavit instead. Tutors operating as sole proprietors could potentially lose everything as a result.
Falsifying the Pennsylvania Home Education Affidavit
Pennsylvania law is clear on the requirements to homeschool a child within its state and offers options to do so. The two most popular pathways for educating are the parents handling the teaching themselves or hiring a private tutor.
Often, parents have a relative or church acquaintance who is already operating as a home school, and they want this individual to include their own children in the program. But, perhaps this doesn’t meet all of the requirements to qualify as a private tutor under the state’s Home Education Law. Here are the requirements below:
- Certified by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to teach in-state public schools
- Educate children in a single-family
- Conducting the majority of instruction
- Either receive payment for services or other consideration in return
- Not convicted of crimes outlined in Section 111 Subsection (e) of the School Code
- Submit a copy of state certification
When the desired tutor doesn’t meet the qualifications to legally tutor their children, or aren’t aware of the private tutoring option for their homeschooler, they may attempt to falsify the Home Education Affidavit instead. The reason? The only qualification required by the State of Pennsylvania to home school a child as their parent is to possess a high school diploma or equivalent (GED). By falsifying this form, tutors can instruct a family’s children while the state thinks parents are doing the actual work.
This course of action not only jeopardizes the welfare of the students involved but also increases the financial and legal liabilities to tutors operating as sole proprietorships.
Liabilities Tutors Risk When Teaching Illegally
The demand for tutors has surged dramatically in Pennsylvania, with parents desperate to hire private tutors to homeschool their children. The temptation to offer tutoring services without following outlined state guidelines can lead to potential liability suits that will devastate finances, freedom, and reputation.
Consider some of these common actions taken against tutors before agreeing to teach outside mandated law:
You Don’t Qualify to Work as a Private Homeschool Tutor
It is illegal to work as a private tutor under the PA Home Education Law when you don’t meet state requirements. Whether you don’t have the necessary certification or have a disqualifying crime on your background, students’ potential harm is a serious liability. You will likely lose the opportunity to continue tutoring if discovered.
Families Get Angry and Make False Allegations
What is the risk if parents fudge the details on their homeschool affidavit? You could face civil or criminal charges if the family becomes upset with your services, disagrees with your teaching methods, or the child makes a false claim about abuse.
Students Aren’t Receiving Required Educational Standards
The State of Pennsylvania expects the submission of student education portfolios that contain work samples, standardized testing results, and a meticulous log of given instruction. When students struggle to progress or fail to achieve high scores on testing, parents get litigious. Sole proprietors in this situation risk all of their personal assets if sued.
Establish Your Business Identity Before Starting Your Tutoring Career
A common mistake for homeschool tutors is assuming they are too small to form a business to protect their assets. As is underestimating the liability you take on when you offer services without meeting Pennsylvania Home Education Law requirements.
Operating as a sole proprietor means your personal assets and your company are the same. You could lose everything if sued by a disgruntled parent. Forming an entity, like a limited liability company (LLC), helps separate you from your business to the law. To speak to an attorney about forming your own LLC call (610)-562-2000 or email us to get started!