BUCKS COUNTY – December 11, 2019 – State Senator Steve Santarsiero (D-10) announced the award of $28,197 in state funding to Bucks County Intermediate Unit #22 through the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s (PDE) Keystone Telepresence Education Grant program for equipment and services to help educate students who are homebound for extended periods due to serious medical conditions.
Intermediate units use the grants to purchase audio and video equipment. An IU’s member school districts can then borrow the equipment and place it within the homes of students who are recovering from an accident or medical procedure or are experiencing a serious or chronic illness. The equipment enables students to participate in daily educational activities with classmates and teachers in real-time.
Intermediate units may also use the funds to train personnel on how to use the equipment.
“Pennsylvania has an obligation to deliver the best possible education to every child,” Sen. Santarsiero said. “With this equipment, teachers at Bucks County Intermediate Unit can better connect with students eager to learn and reach their full potential.”
Funding for the grant program comes from PDE’s Special Education state appropriation. The 2019-2020 budget includes $1.19 billion for special education – a $50 million increase over the previous year. The appropriation includes approximately $90 million for the Special Education Contingency Fund, Core Services funding to Intermediate Units; Institutionalized Children’s Program funding; special education for wards of state students; special education for students placed out of state; and the Keystone Telepresence Education Grant.
To learn more about the Telepresence grant program, visit the PDE website.