State law encourages districts to operate alternative school programs or to ensure access to educational services to expelled students in an alternative setting.
Alternative Education for Disruptive Youth (AEDY)
Guidelines for alternative education programs for disruptive youth
Pennsylvania Unconsolidated Statutes 1949 Act 14. Article XIII-A. Safe Schools. Section 1302-A. Office for Safe Schools.
(c) In addition to the powers and duties set forth under subsection (b), the office is authorized to make targeted grants to school entities, and to intermediate units on behalf of nonpublic schools, to fund programs which address school violence, including: (13) Alternative education programs provided for in Article XIX-C.
Pennsylvania Unconsolidated Statutes 1949 Act 14. Section 1901-C. Definitions.
For purposes of this article, the following terms shall have the following meanings: (1) “Alternative education program” or “program.” Any applicant’s program applying for funds under this article, which program is implemented by a school district, an area career and technical school, a group of school districts or an intermediate unit, which removes disruptive students from regular school programs in order to provide those students with a sound educational course of study and counseling designed to modify disruptive behavior and return the students to a regular school curriculum. Notwithstanding section 1502, alternative education programs may operate outside the normal school day of the applicant district, including Saturdays. School districts and private alternative education institutions operating pursuant to the provisions of Article XIX-E shall adopt a policy for periodic review of those students placed in their respective alternative education program for disruptive students. This review shall occur, at a minimum, at the end of every semester the student is in the program or more frequently at the district’s or private alternative education institution’s discretion. The purpose of this review is to determine whether or not the student is ready to return to the regular school curriculum. Programs may include services for students returning from placements or who are on probation resulting from being adjudicated delinquent in a proceeding under 42 Pa.C.S. Ch. 63 (relating to juvenile matters) or who have been judged to have committed a crime under an adult criminal proceeding.
Pennsylvania Unconsolidated Statutes 1949 Act 14. Section 1903-C. Alternative Education Grants.
The department shall establish grants for alternative education programs which meet the requirements of this article, to include the following: (1) An application procedure for grant eligibility. (2) A review process to annually evaluate the effectiveness of alternative education programs, to include an annual report to the Education Committee of the Senate and the Education Committee of the House of Representatives. (3) The department shall determine an annual grant amount calculated by dividing the amount appropriated by the estimated average number of students enrolled in eligible programs, further divided by thirty-six. Each applicant shall be eligible to receive this grant amount, per average number of pupils enrolled, per week of participation in an eligible program. Commonwealth grants shall be limited to funds appropriated for this program but in no event shall a school district receive funding for more than two per cent (2%) of a school district’s average daily membership as defined in section 2501 for students enrolled in grades seven through twelve. (4) The department is authorized to utilize for administrative purposes up to one per cent (1%) of the funds appropriated for safe and alternative schools that are not expended, encumbered or committed.
The Pennsylvania Code § 12.6. Exclusions from school
(c) During the period prior to the hearing and decision of the governing board in an expulsion case, the student shall be placed in his normal class except as set forth in subsection (d). (d) If it is determined after an informal hearing that a student's presence in his normal class would constitute a threat to the health, safety or welfare of others and it is not possible to hold a formal hearing within the period of a suspension, the student may be excluded from school for more than 10 school days. A student may not be excluded from school for longer than 15 school days without a formal hearing unless mutually agreed upon by both parties. Any student so excluded shall be provided with alternative education, which may include home study. (e) Students who are under 17 years of age are still subject to the compulsory school attendance law even though expelled and shall be provided an education. (1) The initial responsibility for providing the required education rests with the student's parents or guardian, through placement in another school, tutorial or correspondence study, or another educational program approved by the district's superintendent. (2) Within 30 days of action by the governing board, the parents or guardians shall submit to the school district written evidence that the required education is being provided as described in paragraph (1) or that they are unable to do so. If the parents or guardians are unable to provide the required education, the school entity shall, within 10 days of receipt of the notification, make provision for the student's education. A student with a disability shall be provided educational services as required by the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C.A. §§ 1400. -- 1482). (3) If the approved educational program is not complied with, the school entity may take action in accordance with 42 Pa.C.S. Chapter 63 (relating to the Juvenile Act) to ensure that the child will receive a proper education. See § 12.1(b) (relating to free education and attendance).