SED Budget update

Preschool Special Ed Update

24 Jan 2014

Below is a section in the Budget briefing document on education from the Governor’s proposed 2013-2014 NYS budget which was released on January 22, 2013 that pertains to Preschool Special Education.

Preschool Special Education

New York State offers extensive services to its students with disabilities, including services to children before they reach school age. The State’s spending on Preschool Special Education has doubled over the past ten years to a projected State cost of $1.1 billion for the upcoming school year. In order to address the unsustainable rate of program growth, as well as concerns resulting from recent provider audits which have uncovered high levels of inappropriate billing by several Preschool Special Education providers, the Executive Budget proposes several changes that will slow expense growth by improving fiscal oversight in the program. The proposals will ensure that scarce resources are focused on serving the needs of young children with disabilities, not dissipated through fraud.

  • Conduct a Large-Scale Audit of Preschool Special Education Providers: The State will select a vendor through a competitive process to audit providers and collect extensive provider data to develop a comprehensive database in order to improve oversight.
  • Build Counties’ Capacity to Monitor Providers: The Executive Budget will build county capacity to oversee Preschool Special Education providers through the provision of $1 million in targeted grants to counties and through the development of a fiscal integrity tool to better detect fraud and abuse. In addition, to incentivize county oversight of providers, the Executive Budget will allow counties to retain 75 percent of audit recoveries.
  • Empower New York City: Costs in the Preschool Special Education program are growing at a significantly faster rate in New York City than in the rest of the State. Uniquely situated as both the county and the school district, New York City would be authorized to implement a process to select providers for Preschool Special Education services, and to set provider rates within certain State parameters. This will allow New York City to better control costs and improve programmatic and fiscal oversight of providers.

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