Wednesday, August 08, 2012

NYT Editorial on "Millions of Dollars of Fraud" in New York's Preschool Special Education

See this important editorial.  Excerpts:
Over the last several weeks, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli of New York has issued audits detailing millions of dollars in fraud by private companies that provide special education services to preschool children with learning, developmental or other disabilities.

* * * 
Beyond that, the Legislature needs to rethink the way the state delivers these services. David Halbfinger reported in The Times earlier this year that New York is the only state that turns over preschool special education to private contractors, many of which are for-profit companies. 
In most of the country, The Times reports, these services are provided through the public school districts. State officials in New York place the annual average cost at about $17,000 per preschooler. The Times reported earlier this year that the average cost for children in Massachusetts, which is said to have a generous program, was less than $10,000 per child.
This should be a cautionary tale for those who want to privatize IDEA more generally.

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