Act 89 was established in 1974 by the state of Pennsylvania to provide auxiliary services to students enrolled in nonprofit nonpublic schools.
Act 89 programs are administered by Intermediate Units following regulations and procedures of the Department of Education and the Public School Code of Pennsylvania. Services provided are determined:
- by those already offered in the school district in which the nonpublic school is located;
- by student need based on consultation with administrators, teachers, students, and parents;
- by budgetary allocations; and
- by the supply of qualified personnel, materials, and equipment.
The role of the IU13 Nonpublic 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 nonpublic school, however, may be enrolled in Act 89 programs as long as they benefit from the program and time is available for instruction.
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 schooled students
- students whose primary residence is outside of Pennsylvania
- students for whom tuition is paid by the Commonwealth