Temporary Task Force on Preschool Special Education
Rate-Setting Workgroup
August 1, 2007 Meeting Minutes

Attendees
Tom Connoly, Susan Constantino (CP of NY), Mary Garrett (Capital District Beginnings), Eddie Lee (OMRDD), Tom Hamel (SED), Pamela Madeiros (Alliance for Children with Special Needs), Harold Matott (SED), Sally McKay (NYC Department of Education), Donna Noyes (DOH), Nelly Odondi (DOB), Andrea Rieger (Coalition for Preschool Children with Disabilities), Jane Ryan (JE Ryan & Associates), Dan Tworek (CP of NY)

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

Facilitator Alan Stern (Stage Right)

Note taker Jessica Janeski (OMRDD)

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

SEIT
The workgroup discussed SEIT to assure there was a shared understanding of the issues.  The following barriers to adequate SEIT rates were identified:

In addition, recommendations should be made for the following SEIT issues:

Agency presentationsVarious state agency representatives provided a brief overview of the rate setting practices used for their services.  The purpose of the presentations was to provide workgroup members with an understanding of what different state agencies do to set rates so that the strengths of each system may be incorporated into the preschool special education rate-setting recommendations.

OMRDD - Joanne Howard|
Basic Payment System

Highlights

DOH Early Intervention - Donna Noyes
Basic Payment System

Highlights

OCFS - Dan Zeidman
Basic Payment System

Highlights

SED Preschool Special Education - Tom Hamel
Basic Payment System

External comment
Jane Ryan of JE Ryan & Associates provided a non-state agency perspective on the various rate systems.  She reviewed the strengths of the various systems and noted where improvements will assure timeliness and adequacy of rates.  Topics discussed include: property screens; staffing; the waiver process; 1:1 aides; reserve allowance; and, accountability. 

Information/resources workgroup members provided since last meeting (Dan Tworek)Workgroup members reviewed the listing of problems/issues as well as the list of recommendations outlined in the Conceptual Framework - Education Program Tuition/Rate Methodology Reform (white paper) developed by a provider Task Force and issued on March 3, 2005.  Workgroup members were instructed to consider these lists when developing recommendations for the Task Force. What does this information mean to the workgroup?  Do the workgroup recommendations address some of the policy concerns outlined in the paper? 

Wrap up
Workgroup members reached consensus that recommendations should be developed to address the following areas and were asked to submit other issues for further consideration:

  1. Regionalization of SEIT rates.
  2. Develop a set of “blended” parameters for SEIT services within an enrollment based payment system.
  3. Reconcile teacher salaries and fringe with public school salaries and fringe. 
  4. Ensure preschools rates are not in competition with EI rates for professional staff.
  5. Require increased accountability, programmatic as well as fiscal (identify methods for such accountability).
  6. Create incentives for group related services and group SEIT.
  7. Streamline the rate approval and waiver processes.
  8. Create a separate process for the property component of rates.
  9. Allow for a fund balance (how would it be used?)

By the August 15 workgroup meeting a list of concrete recommendations should be developed so that they can be discussed and prioritized at the meeting.  This will be facilitated via email.

The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, August 15, 2007 at 44 Holland Avenue, conference room 4A.  The meeting will take place from 11-2.