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New law shifts school age requirements

As students grab their backpacks and head off to school, parents and guardians should take note of a recent change at the state level that affects compulsory school age.

A new law has extended the time that a child must be enrolled in a public or private school or satisfy compulsory attendance requirements through home schooling or tutoring.

The relevant ages are no longer from age 8 to 17. Parents and guardians now have to enroll their child by age 6 and remain enrolled through their 18th birthday.

House Bill 1615 became Act 16 of 2019 when Gov. Tom Wolf signed it on June 28. The Act makes numerous changes to the School Code.

The change in compulsory attendance ages will increase the number of students subject to the requirements and truancy procedures. The changes are effective 90 days from the date of enactment, which is Sept. 26.

The Warren County School District will have a revised policy to reflect the change in compulsory school age once official approval takes place through the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

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