Act 89 Program

Community ServicesAct 89 – Auxiliary Services for Non-public School Students

Auxiliary services includes guidance, counseling and testing services, psychological services, services for exceptional children, remedial services, speech and hearing services, services for the improvement of the educationally disadvantaged (such as, but not limited to, teaching English as a second language), and other secular, neutral, non-ideological services of a supplementary and remedial nature.

These state-funded services are provided directly by the local intermediate unit to students enrolled in a nonprofit private school within the intermediate unit. The school must affirm the eligibility of students and facilitate the delivery of services. The local intermediate unit makes the final determination regarding what services shall be provided after consulting with the non-public school to determine which general categories of children shall receive services, what services shall be provided, how and where the services shall be provided and how the services shall be evaluated. These are not services that would carry an individualized entitlement for students but, rather, are provided subject to limitations of funding appropriated annually in the state budget. Services may be provided in the schools which students attend, in mobile instructional units located on the grounds of the students’ schools or in other settings mutually agreed upon by the school and intermediate unit (subject to the extent permitted by the Pennsylvania and US constitutions).

A full description of Auxiliary Services and the regulations governing service delivery can be found at Chapter 112 – Auxiliary Services for Non-public School Students.

Requests for services are initiated by the non-public school in response to the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s online enrollment questionnaire each fall. Services provided in each IU are determined by (1) those already offered in area school districts; (2) established student need based on consultation with administrators; (3) budgetary limitations, and (4) the supply of qualified personnel, materials and equipment.

IU 19 currently provides the following services under Act 89:

  • Remedial support for reading and math
  • Guidance/School Counseling Services at both the elementary and high school levels
  • Pre-Psychological Services and Pre-Referral Procedures
  • Limited Funding for standardized achievement testing and scoring (in support of Act 89 programs)
  • Licenses to Discovery Education Services
  • Dibels screening for students in kindergarten through fourth grade
  • Consultation

The role of the NEIU Non-public School Program is to provide supplemental services to students in regular education programs.The program may not provide special education programs for students who are officially identified nor may Act 89 services be presented or perceived as a substitute for special education placement. Students identified as exceptional prior to entrance in a non-public school, however, may be enrolled in Act 89 programs as long as they benefit from the program and time is available for instruction.

Student Eligibility

Eligible students are Pennsylvania residents parentally-placed in qualifying nonprofit K-12 non-public schools on a full-time basis. The following students are not funded by Act 89 and, subsequently, are not eligible for non-public education services:

  • Preschool students
  • Home school students
  • Students whose primary residence is outside of Pennsylvania
  • Students for whom tuition is paid by the Commonwealth

Mathematics and Reading Remediation

Remedial specialists employed by NEIU provide instruction in basic reading and/or mathematics skills to students in the non-public schools through a comprehensive program of referral, diagnosis, prescription, and instruction.

Non-public school administrators and/or teachers may request remedial services under Act 89 during the Annual Needs Assessment, which helps deploy staff to the schools based on need.

In September of each year, the Intermediate Unit remedial specialist, in cooperation with the non-public school teachers and administrator requests referrals of students who may benefit from remediation. Screening/diagnostics are then completed and parental consent is obtained. The results of this testing determine which students meet the criteria for enrollment in the program. The remedial specialist then prescribes and conducts an individualized instructional program for each student enrolled. The remedial specialist determines the appropriate type and level of instruction. The frequency and length of the remedial instruction are determined by the unique needs of students, the schedule of the non-public school, and program resources.

The remedial specialist works with the classroom teacher, administrator, other appropriate school personnel, and parents to provide a program that directly supplements the regular school curriculum. Teachers may also choose to work with small groups within the regular classroom.

Remedial Philosophy

Individualized instructional goals and objectives are designed to promote students success and progress. The remedial specialist monitors student progress continuously. The successful attainment of individual goals and objectives results in the student’s departure from the remedial program. The student’s progress in his/her regular class is carefully monitored by the remedial specialist and classroom teachers to assure success.

Act 89 Program Overview — Click here to access a presentation about how the Act 89 Program is delivered in our member schools.