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Legislation Helps Students Facing Extended School Absences

/ WDAC

HARRISBURG – A proposal would utilize new technology to prevent homebound students from falling behind in their studies. The legislation would create a new grant program for the state’s 29 intermediate units to purchase technology allowing real-time communication between homebound students and their classrooms. The technology would allow students, who are unable to physically attend classes, to participate in classroom activities and normal schoolwork. In current practice, homebound education is available to students who cannot attend due to serious medical issues. However, some schools struggle to find a qualified teacher to provide instruction. The time away from classmates and teachers can also create challenges for children. The grant program would be administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Funding would come from any undistributed money that is not already committed to other projects, so it would not create a new expenditure for state taxpayers. Similar legislation has already been enacted in Maryland, and a telepresence education bill is also under consideration in New York.

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