Allegheny Intermediate Unit

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475 East Waterfront Drive
Homestead, Pennsylvania, Allegheny County 15120
Type Intermediate Unit
Established 1971
Information Located at 420 sites throughout Allegheny County

The Allegheny Intermediate Unit (AIU) is a branch of the Pennsylvania Department of Education, and is the largest of the 29 intermediate units in Pennsylvania. It was created by the state’s General Assembly in 1971, and is headquartered in Homestead.

The AIU provides specialized education services to 42 suburban public school districts and five career and technical centers in Allegheny County. The agency, which has about 1,560 employees at 420 sites throughout the county, also operates 11 family centers and three schools for exceptional children. Funded by federal, state, county and private grants, the AIU coordinates more than 130 programs designed to help infants, young children, students and adults. In 2017, the programs offered by Allegheny Intermediate Unit served 114,508 students in public schools.

The organization offers a wide variety of educational services to school districts and the public. These service areas include, but are not limited to, special education, professional development, early childhood and community education, workforce development as well as online and alternative education. In addition, the AIU offers a myriad of administrative services in the areas of human resources, finance, communications, legislative advocacy and technology to assist school administrators adapt their internal operations as needed.

Leadership and Governance[edit]

AIU Headquarters, Homestead, PA

The AIU's Board of Directors has 13 members, elected from Allegheny County's 42 suburban public school districts. Dr. Linda B. Hippert has been the organization's executive director since 2008. The Executive Leadership Team consists of a group of executive employees who govern the daily activities of the agency and make recommendations to the Board of Directors. These actions follow the AIU's mission and vision statements, as well as the strategic plan. Minutes and agendas of AIU Board of Directors meetings can be found on the AIU's boarddocs site.

Divisions and Services[edit]

The AIU has six divisions.

  • Early Childhood, Family & Community Services - The Early Childhood, Family and Community Services Division consists of a group of visionary educational leaders who create innovative partnerships with schools, government, business and communities to build human capacity through dynamic services which enhance the quality of life for all learners. Initiatives are designed to respond to the multifaceted nature of social and educational challenges within Allegheny County and the Western Pennsylvania region. The division operates 11 family support centers and serves more than 5,000 pre-school children every year through its Head Start, Early Head Start, Pre-K Counts and DART (early intervention) programs. In 2015, the division was recognized by the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office for its work in local neighborhoods.
  • Finance and Business Operations - The AIU's Finance and Business Operations Division provides services to school districts, and budget control for internal programs. The division processes payroll, accounts payable, benefits, investments, insurance and financial reports, among other services.
  • Human Resources and Labor Relations - The AIU's Human Resources and Labor Relations Division oversees the organization's human resources activities. The division offers a variety of employment and recruitment tools such as SmartSTART and
  • Information Technology - The AIU's InformationTechnology Division assists schools and educators incorporate leading-edge technology to achieve the maximum impact on student achievement. In 2015, the division led a joint effort to restructure and rebid the Allegheny County RWAN, a telecommunications network that links area schools over high-speed fiber optic connections. This project, which links 46 school districts and technical schools, saves school districts thousands of dollars every month, estimated to be 30 to 70 percent, in network costs.
  • Special Education and Pupil Services - The AIU's Special Education and Pupil Services Division's programs and services are available to the 42 school districts in Allegheny County. The special education staff includes supervisors, psychologists, teachers, clinicians and paraprofessionals who provide educational services tailored to match district requests. The division operates three schools for exceptional children, the Mon Valley, Pathfinder and Sunrise schools, and offers a variety of high-quality auxiliary services such as career development, occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech/language therapy. The division also offers the Blind/Visually Impaired, Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Pupil Personnel and Equitable Participation programs.
  • Teaching and Learning - The AIU's Teaching and Learning Division provides direct services to schools and facilitates professional development, technical assistance and support services that assist educators in addressing education requirements and best practices. The services focus on providing leading edge, research-based practices to engage all learners and to generate effective solutions to educational challenges. The AIU is a regional leader in the integration of new technology, such as virtual reality, into K-12 classrooms. In 2016, the division was recognized by the White House for its commitment to Computer Science Education. In 2015, in partnership with the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation and the Citrone Fund, the AIU created the STEAM Lending Library for PreK-12 educators. Thanks to the partnership and generosity of Chevron along with the Benedum and Grable foundations, since 2009 the Teaching and Learning Division has awarded more than $3 million in STEAM grants to school districts across nine counties in southwestern Pennsylvania.

Public School Districts served[edit]

Career and Technology Centers Served[edit]

The Role of Intermediate Units[edit]

Pennsylvania’s intermediate units were created in 1971 in an effort to help school districts operate more efficiently and meet the specialized needs of their students. Since then, these education agencies have evolved into an important resource on which school districts rely.

School districts and intermediate units are separate legal entities. Intermediate units have no legal jurisdiction over school districts and do not control school districts. On the contrary, intermediate units exist to serve school districts and provide leadership which will improve local operations. Although intermediate units are an extension of the Pennsylvania Department of Education, they differ greatly from local school districts in several ways.

School Districts Intermediate Units
Gain revenue from local real estate taxes Have no taxing powers
Can own property for a variety of uses Can own property for office use only
Have one yearly budget which is adopted based on approval of its local board Have several budgets, all of which must be passed by its local board. IUs receive funding for individual programs and these funds cannot be co-mingled. In addition, IUs develop a yearly Program of Services Budget which requires approval from a majority of its member school districts
Serve students in a predetermined geographic area Serve a very diverse population of students who often reside beyond IU boundaries

Contact Information[edit]

The AIU's Central Office is located at The Waterfront in Homestead, Pennsylvania.

475 East Waterfront Drive

Homestead, PA 15120


Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 4:00 p.m.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°24′49″N 79°54′31″W / 40.413513°N 79.908694°W / 40.413513; -79.908694