In 2021-22, the demands on the Early Intervention and Preschool Special Education systems will be high as families seek to restore developmental growth lost during the pandemic. New York State must respond fully, with enhanced services for children who received little or no services during the pandemic due to agency and school closures, lack of appropriate devices or internet access, and other barriers. This response should be in addition to, not in place of, action to reverse the existing provider shortage that has left children falling behind as they wait for mandated services and instruction.
- Enact a Covered Lives assessment to bring badly needed additional revenue into the Early Intervention program and to ensure that commercial insurers pay their fair share of Early Intervention services. The assessment should be at least $40 million in SFY22.
- As a step towards an increase of 10% in both Early Intervention and Preschool Special Education reimbursement rates, conduct a comprehensive assessment of the methodology used to determine payment for all early intervention evaluations, services and service coordination, and develop a new tuition rate-setting methodology for Preschool Special Education so that rates better reflect the costs of delivering services.
- Guarantee parity in annual funding increases between public schools and preschool special education programs. We support the Board of Regents’ proposal to change state law to require the State to provide at least the same percentage increase in funding to preschool special education programs as it gives to public schools each year.