Temporary Task Force on Preschool Special Education
Rate-Setting Workgroup
September 12, 2007 Meeting Minutes

Brian Bennett (NYSUT), Susan Constantino (CP of NY), Mary Garrett (Capital District Beginnings), Tom Hamel (SED), 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) Nelly Odondi (DOB), Kerry Sager (DOB),  Dan Tworek (CP of NY)

Via conference call
Mike Grossfeld (All About Kids), Jane Ryan (JE Ryan & Associates), Sara Silver (Magi), Patsy Yang-Lewis (Westchester County Department of Health)

Facilitator Alan Stern (Stage Right)

Note taker Jessica Janeski (OMRDD)

The facilitator and group leader reviewed the agenda and the desired meeting outcomes.  The objective of the meeting was to complete the recommendation chart including recommendation language, pros/cons, implementation considerations and principles addressed.  This chart will then be presented to the full Task Force at the September 18 meeting.

The meeting minutes from August 15, 2007 were adopted by the workgroup. 

Task Force Deliberations to date and Principles Statement
The workgroup had a discussion regarding how/where to address the issue of county participation.  The workgroup was reminded that the Service Delivery workgroup is taking the lead in developing a recommendation regarding county participation and that all Task Force members will have an opportunity to comment on this topic at the next full Task Force meeting.  Workgroup members agreed to step back from a recommendation on this topic but felt that because the role of the country is essential to addressing the two core rate setting issues (timeliness and adequacy of rates) a general statement should be included in the recommendations.  Some workgroup members expressed the opinion that without a change in the county role a new rate-setting methodology would not be successful.  Others felt that this is a funding issue, not a rate setting one. 

A subgroup was charged with drafting a general statement that the workgroup could include in the recommendations. 

The statement of principles was reviewed and the consensus was to adopt the statement as is. 

The question was asked if the recommendations on SEIT and RSO could be folded into the parameters of the new rate methodology the workgroup is recommending.  Workgroup members felt that SEIT and RSO have unique characteristics and issues that may be lost if folded into the new rate methodology.  It was decided that these would be separate recommendations. 

Workgroup members submitted comments on each recommendation via email prior to the meeting.  A draft chart was complied based on the feedback received.  The draft chart is an uncut version of comments from the workgroup intended to capture the main ideas.  This draft chart will be used as a tool in articulating the recommendations, strategy/action steps, pros/cons, implementation issues and principles addressed.

Some of the recommendations were combined by the group leader in an effort to streamline the document.

The workgroup went through each recommendation one by one.  Workgroup members were instructed to note if any recommendations were missing or if a critical piece was missing from one of the above mentioned categories.  The revised document is attached and will be presented at the September 18 Task Force meeting. 

The principles of the suggested rate-setting methodology will be presented as one recommendation (separate parts of one whole). 

The workgroup discussed a recommendation to recognize a Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) as a “supplemental evaluation” component. The information from a FBA is useful for determining the appropriate services and approaches, and when appropriate should be encouraged.  However, FBAs are time-consuming and take several sessions to complete therefore utilizing staffing resources.  Current VESID policy indicates that the cost of FBAs is already included in the rates.  It was suggested that Jim DeLorenzo could be invited to the next workgroup meeting to discuss this issue.
Workgroup Next Steps

Wrap up
The next workgroup meeting is scheduled for September 24 from 11am-2pm and will take place at 44 Holland Avenue, Albany, conference room 4C.  
(Since the development of these minutes and the meeting of the full Task Force on September 18, further workgroup meetings have been postponed.