Temporary Task Force on Preschool Special Education
Rate-Setting Workgroup
July 9, 2007 Meeting Minutes

Attendees
Susan Constantino (CP of NY), Mary Garrett (Capital District Beginnings), Tom Hamel (SED), Jessica Janeski, (OMRDD), Mark Jasinski (Ithaca City School District), Eddie Lee (OMRDD), Pamela Madeiros (Alliance for Children with Special Needs), Harold Matott (SED), Sally McKay (NYC Department of Education), Jessica Morelli (NYSAC), Nelly Odondi (DOB), Alan Stern (Stage Right), Dan Tworek (CP of NY)

Via Conference Call
Michael Grossfeld (All About Kids), Patsy Yang-Lewis (Westchester County Department of Health)

Organization
The workgroup agreed on the purpose of the meeting and the following desired outcomes:

Workgroup Issues
The workgroup reviewed the list of issues identified by the full Task Force on June 28 to assure clarity and understanding.  Members also offered additional issues for the group to consider. 

List Reduction
The workgroup then narrowed the list of issues.  To help focus this discussion Eddie Lee reviewed the legislative charge, “to study the current tuition rate-setting methodology for preschool education programs and services and make recommendations for improvement.” 

To develop parameters for the relative importance of the issues, workgroup members were asked to think about: 

  1. which pre-school special education programs to review,
  2. what types of recommendations the group would like to focus on, i.e., redundancies, inefficiencies, tuition, fee-for services programs, etc.

Using these parameters, the issues were refined and classified into two focus areas: timeliness/process and adequacy of rates to fund necessary services.  Those issues that do not directly have rate-setting implications will be referred to the Task Force for appropriate action.   

A one page document summarizing these issues will be presented to the Task Force at the July 17th meeting.  To review the summary of the agreed upon issues, please see the attached document.  Once Task Force endorsement is received they will be the focus of workgroup recommendations.

Work Plan
Once the issues were identified the workgroup developed a work plan which included specific deliverables the workgroup must complete to meet its charge.  The milestones/timeframes are as follows:
July -            Establish the focus areas of the workgroup. 
                     Report these focus areas to Task Force on July 17th.
August -        Develop preliminary recommendations.
September- Have a set of draft final recommendations to present to the Task                       Force.

Workgroup Operations
The workgroup members agreed that communication between meetings is vital.  A listing of members email addresses will be circulated.  Members are encouraged to think about and share recommendations at any time, not wait for a meeting. 

Workgroup members discussed information/resources they would like to have.  They are as follows:

  1. White paper prepared by Provider Associations, entitled “Conceptual Framework Education Program Tuition/Rate Methodology Reform (Pam Madeiros to provide).  
  2. 1997 Pre-School Reform Workgroup recommendations - this document also includes a discussion of regional rate-setting (Pam Madeiros to provide).
  3. Excerpts from pre-school contracts (Mike Grossfeld to provide).
  4. Current salary for Related Services, not specific to pre-school settings (e.g. OT, PT, Speech etc.) (Susan Constantino to provide).
  5. Brief presentations regarding rate setting methodologies in various settings (OCFS, OMR, SED, OMH, DOH early intervention) (Eddie Lee and Tom Hamel will coordinate).  Ideally these presentations/discussions will occur at the next workgroup meeting, August 1, 2007.

Next Meetings
The schedule of future meetings was reviewed and verified.  The schedule is as follows:

Date

Time

Tentative Location

Wednesday, August 1

1pm - 4pm

OMRDD - Room 4C

Wednesday, August 15

11am - 2pm

OMRDD - Room 4A

Wednesday, September 12

11am - 5pm

OMRDD - Room 4C

Monday, September 24

11am - 2pm

OMRDD - Room 4C

Tuesday, October 9

11am - 5pm

OMRDD - Room 4A

Wednesday, October 31

11am - 2pm

OMRDD - Room 4C

Wrap Up
The group reviewed items that are important to the Task Force but do not have rate- setting implications. These issues will be presented to the Task Force for discussion and possible referral.  They are as follows:

  1. County involvement in the administration and funding of programs.  This is not a rate-setting issue but is an important historical policy that frames issues of fiscal accountability, costs and efficiency.
  2. Medicaid reimbursement - policy issue.  How Medicaid is used is not a rate- setting issue.  The parameters are established by the federal and state budgeting guidelines.
  3. Reimbursement for transportation for pre-schools.  Should this be examined?  Are Municipalities the public entity that can do this most efficiently?