Intermediate Unit Legal Services

The 29 Intermediate Units in Pennsylvania are responsible not only for augmenting the special education services of the Commonwealth’s 500 school districts, but also for helping support the special needs students of the entire state, whether they attend traditional public school, a charter school, or an independent school. Intermediate units also coordinate educational instruction to more than 50,000 students throughout the Commonwealth.  While intermediate units adhere to many of the same laws as school districts, they are also able to be innovative in the programs and services they provide, including: adult programs, services to enhance the needs of the public education system, and vocational and technical education.

As such, intermediate units are often exposed to a significant number of complex legal issues, and matters unique to a service provider, and they sometimes face this legal landscape without the visibility or political and public support enjoyed by a public school district.

The Delaware County education attorneys of Raffaele Puppio have over a decade of experience in confronting and addressing the legal needs of Pennsylvania’s intermediate units, including navigating legal issues in new and unsettled areas, through service as the solicitor for the Delaware County Intermediate Unit.

Our services include guidance to the intermediate unit’s board as solicitor, as well as legal consultation on a wide range of questions and concerns that arise in the course of normal of business for the intermediate unit, including: employment issues, construction projects, third party provider concerns, and contract and policy reviews. We help intermediate unit leaders work effectively with their direct customers and school district clients, and are seasoned in the special nature of intermediate units to handle sensitive matters appropriately, every time.

Intermediate units are also in a unique position with regard to special education litigation. The lawyers in our special education department are highly knowledgeable about the role and responsibilities of the intermediate unit from early intervention through school age, and have successfully defended our clients in countless special education matters. Our attorneys also regularly assist our intermediate unit clients in providing professional development in this area to constituent school districts.

Sub Practice Areas:

From The Blog

  • Should Free Appropriate Public Education Be Extended to All Students?

    March 20, 2019

    Disabled students enjoy rights under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE).  Recently, in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District, the Supreme Court ruled that trivial or insignificant progress is insufficient to provide FAPE under the IDEA. Under the IDEA, school districts must provide an... Read More...

  • The Nation’s Special Education Law: IDEA

    January 10, 2019

    The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, commonly referred to as the IDEA, aims to provide children with disabilities across the nation with access to a free appropriate public education “that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for further education, employment, and independent living.” The IDEA covers... Read More...

  • Technology in the Classroom: Rights and Responsibilities of Teachers

    October 18, 2018

    The increase in technology in the classroom is due to the realization that technology is necessary to prepare students for the world we live in. It has largely been a voluntary effort by school districts, who have the funds, embracing innovative and interesting ways to help students learn. There has also been growth in online... Read More...

  • Medical Marijuana Use at Schools In Pennsylvania

    October 12, 2017

    Following the enactment of Act 16 of 2016, also known as the Medical Marijuana Act, the use of certain forms of marijuana (termed “medical marijuana”) has become legal in Pennsylvania for certain serious medical conditions. This does not necessarily mean that school law in Pennsylvania permits the use of medical marijuana by staff or students.... Read More...

  • Congratulations Gabrielle Sereni and Tom Goham on Your Recent Marriage

    September 29, 2017

    As you might imagine, the attorneys of Raffaele Puppio have a great deal of experience with contracts. Most of the contracts we draft and execute are not particularly newsworthy, but the contract executed on September 9 by one of our senior education law attorneys is an exception. We are delighted for our colleague, Gabrielle “Gabby”... Read More...

  • Special Education Law: What is KOSHK and Why is it Important?

    June 15, 2016

    An important fact in a special education due process proceeding is the “KOSHK” date, or the date that the parent “knew or should have known” about an alleged deprivation of special education. A “deprivation of special education” just mean that the parents are claiming that a child should have been provided with special education but... Read More...