New York State: Greater need for funding for 'preschool programs for children with disabilities'

May 28, 2018, New York State Preschool Special Education Programs on the Brink of Crisis While unfortunately it’s not breaking news to report on yet another underfunded program for persons with disabilities, New York State is truly heading toward disaster. Pre-kindergarten programs in New York are technically available to all students in the state, with a handful of private programs serving specifically students with disabilities. With these private nonprofit programs receiving grossly inadequate funding, and the public-school system relying on these programs to take on an additional 726 students this July, the state has yet to determine where these children will go come fall. In the report “Valuing Early Childhood Developmental Services,” Pete Nabozny, Director of Policy for The Children’s Agenda, indicates that “Reimbursement rates for Early Intervention services have declined substantially since the mid-1990s and do not cover the cost of providing those services to young children.” Importantly, the report indicates that reimbursement rates are less than the cost of services and should be increased by up to 41 percent—and that is just in Monroe County, New York, not New York City. Meanwhile, with 726 students with disabilities needing placement just this year, how New York will place more students as time goes on remains to be seen. What is certain, however, is the  need for more funding for these nonprofit programs offering preschool programs for children with disabilities...."