Final: Approved 8/17/07
Temporary Task Force on Preschool Special Education
New York City Regional Roundtable
Site: 45-18 Court Square, Long Island City
August 3, 2007
If you were not able to attend a Roundtable
Session, you can submit your comments to the Task Force at PrekTaskForce@mail.nysed.gov .
Comments should be in response to the same three questions asked at each
The members of this group were outraged that only two representatives
from NYC are members of the 15 member temporary preschool task force. They
want to know why IAC is not in the temporary task force. Facilitator
responded that the Governor decided who was on the task force.
- Relationship between parents, Early Intervention (EI) service coordinators
and staff are good. Not all service coordinators are familiar with
the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) process.
- Most of group felt EI transition does not work. Department of Health
(DOH) and Department of Education (DOE) are not working together; they
are two different agencies with different philosophies. DOH and DOE need
to work together. They must establish the same goals.
- Transition is stressful for families because if they do not have the
Individual Education Program (IEP) meeting before the child’s third
birthday, they are out of EI. It is ridiculous to have to do two
IEP meetings if students remain in EI for an additional 6-8 months. It
is not productive to do an evaluation and an IEP for a child 8 months before
the child starts school. It is meaningless.
- Get rid of DOH. Birth through 5 should be under DOE, DOE is a
more organized system. DOH has certain strengths but transition would
work better if there was just one system rather than two.
- DOE/CPSE (Committee
on Preschool Special Education) regulations are based on education, DOE/EI
is more family focused and they listen to parent input.
- A regulatory agency
may need to be established to coordinate DOH/EI and DOE regulations. A
combination or the best of DOH and DOE is needed.
- The EI service coordinator
needs more training about CPSE.
- EI service coordinators and Early Intervention
Official Designee (EIOD)’s
are always changing; there are not enough knowledgeable people in the system. EI
and CPSE should be combined-a hybrid of both systems is needed. Make
one system through DOE.
- Transportation under Office of Pupil Transportation (OPT)
is working well
- Other states do not have a birth-5 split.
- As EI tightens up on services,
children are not prepared for preschool Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). More
intense services should be given in EI to prevent children needing more
help when they grow older. Before
EI changed criteria for evaluations and services, more students did not require
special education services when they turned three.
- For turning 5 transition and
LRE, the type of classes, /services differs from district to district and
from borough to borough. .
- CPSE’s/CSEs (Committee on Special Education)
in different boroughs and even different districts are not consistent in
the way they recommend services.
- More accountability and supervision of
- Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) should give priority to accepting
students with disabilities.
- Providers who want to run integrated classes
cannot get general education students to come for 2.5 hours. The
hours of UPK and SED approved integrated classes are not the same.
are not getting enough money to run a responsible program. They
often lose staff to DOE and cannot compete with the salaries DOE offers. A
committee addressed rate setting 10 years ago, whatever happened with their
- Rate reconciliation does not work. Programs do not know what
their rate is for 8 months. Programs are frowned on if they apply for a
- If schools have a vacancy in their program they are not paid. However,
they need the money to run the program i.e. they still need therapists,
- Should there be a regional rate? Some programs are
more costly to run than other programs. Private preschools lose staff to
EI because EI pays much more. Fee for service is impossible to implement
because of competition, Special Education Itinerant Teacher (SEIT) should
not be fee for service. Consider regionalized rates for SEIT providers.
want to look into the possibility of purchasing state retirement and health
- Are the models for applied behavior analysis (ABA)
appropriate? How can we better collaborate with community agencies to make
- The SED (State Education Department) delivery system does not
provide any flexibility to serve kids who need ABA. You can’t change
class ratios without another IEP conference.
- Preschool should have declassification
services like school age.
- There should be a way to study and record trends
in disability occurrence i.e., there was a huge increase in pervasive developmental
disorder (PDD) which no one was prepared for in terms of service.
for preschool students is not the same as regression for school age students.
needs to be more flexibility in providing service for bilingual students.
can’t DOE therapists work for preschool after 3:00? Why is it
a conflict of interest?
- It was noted that this is in the NYC Charter and cannot
be changed. Providers want this investigated.
- Why must a PHD psychologist
as opposed to a school psychologist do evaluations? It
was noted that this is part of Practice Act Law.
- Turning 5 students who are decertified
from special education services should be monitored.
Group: OTHER (County representatives, advocates,
early intervention people, and day care representatives)
- Special class in the integrated model is working well.
- The early childhood direction center (ECDC) has been a big help to parents. All
parent centers are very helpful and we need more.
- It does not make sense
for EI and CPSE to be two different structures.
- School districts should
take on the responsibility of the evaluations; counties should stay out
- UPK is for 4-year-olds. Recommend an incentive to allow the use of
UPK for 3-year-olds.
- EI students who turn three between September and December
should be allowed to start CPSE the following September. January
transition does not make sense. But parents should have a choice.
the rate for related service providers.
- EI has a responsibility to coordinate
the referral to CPSE. There
is a serious lack of coordination from EI.
- Parents are not getting the CPSE
packet in a timely manner.
- The transition plan and the individual family
service plan (IFSP) should be coordinated so that the parent is directed
to CPSE in a timely manner. Some
EI coordinators discourage parents from going to CPSE.
- If CPSE agrees that
a surrogate parent is needed it should be able to be the EI surrogate parent. There
should be standard certification for the surrogate parent.
- The EI system is parent friendly.
- Parents were satisfied with both EI
and CPSE services their children received.
- Transition went smoothly from
both EI to CPSE and CPSE to school age.
- Concerned that school age services
would be as good as preschool.
- Parents were concerned that school age staff
(teachers and paraprofessionals) were adequately trained. Also concerned
about grouping students with similar disabilities. Wanted integration
in the classroom so children would have role models.
- Difficulty obtaining
both evaluations and services bilingually.
- All related service providers,
EI and DOE should be paid the same.
- EI service providers often late or do
not show up at all.
- All developmentally disabled students should be referred
to Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (OMRDD).