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Pittsburgh Public Schools to provide education services at Allegheny County Jail

PPS to provide education services at Allegheny County Jail
PPS to provide education services at Allegheny County Jail 02:26

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) —  Some kids in Allegheny County who have needed specialized help have been falling through the cracks for years within the Allegheny County Jail.

Right now, there are 22 kids/teenagers in jail, according to county data. Even when incarcerated, they are supposed to get a proper education.

A state complaint filed by attorneys with the Education Law Center says many students with disabilities didn't get the special education services they are entitled to while incarcerated. The commonwealth's special education bureau backed up the claims.

For years, the Allegheny Intermediate Unit has provided educational services in the jail. The complaint led Pittsburgh Public Schools leaders to come to an important conclusion.

"In the response from the complaint, we were notified we are the education agency and we are responsible for the educational delivery in the jail," said Superintendent Wayne Walters.

Walters explained the district was not aware it was supposed to be providing instruction until this week.

The plan for that instruction to begin was discussed at a school board meeting this week.

In addition to the jail, Pittsburgh Public Schools will provide instruction to teenagers at the Shuman Juvenile Detention Center.

"It's a large undertaking for us as a district, but I do believe that these students that have to be educated in both these spaces deserve a quality educational experience," said Devon Taliaferro, a Pittsburgh Public Schools board member.

Pittsburgh Public Schools will take over education at Shuman by July 1, and the jail by Aug. 1. KDKA reached out to the district's lawyer and has not yet heard back.

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