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Graphic of a check boxSpecial Education Quality Indicator Study
August 2003




Program Quality and Its Effect on the Placement of Preschool Education Children in School-age Programs
Prepared by MAGI Educational Services, Inc. 


Eight years ago, New York State's preschool special education program faced spiraling yearly enrollments at rates double the national average. The enrollment increases, moreover, were accompanied by ballooning costs, which exceeded one-half billion annually. Added to that, New York served a larger percentage of preschool special education children in separate settings than any other state in the nation. Despite the belief that intervening early would avoid the need for future special education, more than 90 percent of the program's preschoolers went directly into the school-age special education system. 

In 1996, the Board of Regents endorsed six goals to reform the preschool special education program and the New York State Education Department (NYSED) launched a number of specific reform strategies. Today, increasing percentages of preschool students with disabilities are being served in integrated settings, per-pupil expenditures have significantly decreased and more students are being declassified when transitioning to school-age programs. There is room for improvement and the Department remains committed to its reform agenda. The Quality Indicator Study is central to moving that agenda forward.


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