Telepresence Grant Issued to the Bucks County Intermediate Unit

BUCKS COUNTY – 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.

This release was issued by: Senator Santarsiero’s office, con­tact: Stephen Seufert on December 11, 2019