PDE                                   BCIU ACT 89 PROGRAM

    The largest program of the BCIU Nonpublic Programs department, the state provides Act 89 funds for auxiliary (supplementary and remedial) services to nonprofit, nonpublic schools (K-12). These services are provided subject to funds that are appropriated annually in the state budget.

    History : In 1975, the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania passed an Act that amended the PA School Code. This Act, entitle ‘Auxiliary Services: Nonpublic School Children’ was the 89th act to pass that year and it was amended two years later to its present form. The purpose of Act 89 is to authorize Intermediate Units to provide secular, neutral, auxiliary educational service opportunities to Pennsylvania-resident children who are enrolled in nonprofit nonpublic schools.

    Present Act 89-funded services through BCIU include corrective reading and math, speech therapy, counseling, guidance, learning assessments and psycho-educational evaluations. Most Act 89 services may be provided in sectarian schools where appropriate space permits or within relocatable trailers on school grounds. Referrals for services are made by the nonpublic school administrator.

    Student Eligibility

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

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


    Consistent with the mission of the Bucks County Intermediate Unit, the Act 89 program strives to ensure optimal growth of students in nonpublic schools through collaborative initiative, design, and delivery of exemplary service. Act 89 funds provide for auxiliary service in the areas of academic remediation, psycho-educational services and counseling, and speech and language therapy. Delivered by highly qualified staff, these services are interrelated and expanded in a variety of ways to address individual students’ needs as well as the characteristics of the varying nonpublic schools.


    Eligible schools (K-12 nonprofit schools that are thus designated by the PA Department of Education) can generally choose from a ‘menu’ of available services that include remedial reading and mathematics, speech and language therapy, guidance counseling, and psycho-educational evaluations. Generally, the amount of service to a school is proportionate to its enrollment and the justifiable need of students for those services. All services provided under Act 89 are designed to provide the most assistance to the greatest number of students. Please note that Act 89 services are restricted to PA-resident students.


    The BCIU may conduct remedial classes and counseling activities in relocatable classrooms in close proximity to the schools when space is unavailable within the nonpublic school buildings.  Most Act 89 services are provided in sectarian schools where appropriate space permits or within relocatable trailers on school grounds.

    Act 89 PROGRAMS

    Academic Remediation in Reading and Mathematics

    Corrective instruction in reading and mathematics is available to certain schools on a regularly scheduled basis from one to three times per week for students in grades one through twelve; frequency is based on students’ grade level and severity of skill deficits.  FOR MORE INFORMATION, click here.

    Psycho-Educational Services and Counseling

    Psycho-educational evaluation and consultation of students are available in grades K through 12. These are accommodated upon request of principals of nonpublic schools and with written parent consent. Guidance counseling is also provided for students in grades one through twelve on a referral basis. During counseling intake, approximately 65% of elementary students referred are administered a learning test battery to screen for significant learning disabilities; approximately 30% are recommended for psycho-educational evaluations. FOR MORE INFORMATION, click here .

    Speech and Language Therapy

    This service is conducted in small groups in elementary schools; a part-time therapist is also provided to provide screening for students as requested by schools. FOR MORE INFORMATION, click here.