The Berks County Intermediate Unit (BCIU) provides programs and services to public school districts, nonpublic schools, and other human service organizations of Berks County, Pennsylvania. The BCIU also is a liaison agent between the schools and the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
The Berks County Intermediate Unit offers a wide range of diverse services, including alternative and special education, early intervention, child care, services to at-risk students and students with disabilities, as well as curriculum, instruction, and professional staff development. The BCIU also provides business and information management services, instructional media services, public relations services, pupil transportation, and many other varied services.
In 1971, the state legislature created the BCIU and 28 other intermediate units throughout Pennsylvania. The purpose of the new agencies was to provide mandated services to the commonwealth’s 501 school districts. An underlying principle guided the new organizations – the economy of shared resources. The reasoning was that certain centralized services could serve groups of schools, eliminating wasteful duplication.
Over the years, intermediate units have been encouraged to provide services and leadership according to the needs and expressed wishes of their constituent school districts. Embracing that role of responsive service and leadership, the Berks County Intermediate Unit (IU #14) has flourished and today operates more than 100 individual programs of service.
The Berks County Intermediate Unit employs approximately 1,200 staff members and has operating budgets in excess of $163 million. It is governed by an 18-member board of directors composed of representatives from each of the public school districts of Berks County. The BCIU has no administrative or supervisory functions in local school districts but exists to provide services and programs that might not be economical or practical for districts to provide themselves. As the needs and challenges of education change, so will the ways in which the BCIU serves the schools and citizens of Berks County.