BCIU Therapists To Stay In Bensalem Schools

On Tuesday, April 30, the Bensalem School Board would hold a vote that many Bensalem parents concerned and some outraged.

The matter at hand was the replacement of therapy services provided by employees from Bucks County Intermediate Unit with Pediatric Therapeutic Services, LLC (“PTS”). PTS offers a variety of pediatric therapy services to its patients and other entities under contract.

PTS would charge $85 an hour for an occupational therapist, $60 an hour for a certified occupational therapy assistant, $90 for a physical therapist, and $82.50 for a speech therapist. Click here to view the PTS presentation to the school board.

Many parents and concerned residents took to the Bensalem Community page on Facebook to voice their opinion.

One poster summed up the issue most parents seemed to have:

“A school in Pennsbury had 10 different OTs in a single school year,” the poster stated. “That means, on average, a different/new OT each month of the school year. For children with special needs, it’s critical for them to have relationships with their service providers so they’ll have the greatest likelihood to make progress and meet their goals.”

While a district employee reinforced the need for consistency in therapy:

 “As a district employee for 36 years in special education, I will tell you that our students depend on consistency and deserve someone highly qualified and familiar with their needs. Outsourcing is nothing more than trying to save a buck at everyone’s expense.”

And this poster pointed out what seems like a pervasive complaint about the school board:

“Why does Bensalem seem to never actually think about the well-being of kids for certain things and care about the money?” another poster wondered. “This is why so many good teachers; aides, pt ot; you name it; leave or get let go because it’s all about money.”

In the end, the motion to approve the therapy services agreement between Pediatric Therapeutic Services, LLC and Bensalem Township School District failed, with Joseph Pettyjohn, Deborah King, Marc B Cohen, Rebecca Mirra, Stephanie Gonzalez Ferrandez, Jiten Patel, Karen Winters, Kim Rivera, Heather Nicholas all voting no.

 

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