senate Bill S5568A

Signed By Governor
2013-2014 Legislative Session

Relates to special education services and programs for preschool children with disabilities

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Archive: Last Bill Status - Signed by Governor


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed by Governor

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Actions

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Dec 18, 2013 signed chap.545
Dec 06, 2013 delivered to governor
Jun 20, 2013 returned to senate
passed assembly
ordered to third reading rules cal.540
substituted for a7302a
Jun 18, 2013 referred to ways and means
delivered to assembly
passed senate
ordered to third reading cal.1458
committee discharged and committed to rules
Jun 11, 2013 print number 5568a
amend (t) and recommit to education
May 21, 2013 referred to education

Votes

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Bill Amendments

Original
A (Active)
Original
A (Active)

S5568 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A7302A
Law Section:
Education Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §4410, add §4410-c, Ed L

S5568 - Bill Texts

view summary

Relates to special education services and programs for preschool children with disabilities; audits by the state comptroller of the expenses reported by program providers of special education services for preschool children with disabilities.

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S5568

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the education law, in relation to special education services
and programs for preschool children with handicapping conditions

PURPOSE: To require that the executive directors of
special education
preschool provider programs reside within New York State and to
eliminate the potential for conflict of interest between evaluators
and providers.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 of the bill amends
Subdivision 4 of
Section 4410 of the Education Law to establish that a committee on
preschool education shall not place a child in an approved program
for preschool children with handicapping conditions if such program
had previously conducted an evaluation of such child, unless the
committee obtains an evaluation of the child from another approved
evaluator and the committee applies for and receives approval from
the Commissioner of Education prior to making any recommendation that
would place a child in the approved program that conducted the
evaluation of the child.

Section 2 of the bill amends Subdivision 9 of Section 4410 of the
Education Law to require a provider of special education services or
programs to certify as part of its application that its executive
director: (i) is a resident of this State; (ii) meets the criteria to
be an executive director established by the Commissioner of
Education; and (iii) if paid as a full time executive director, be or
she is employed in a full time, full year position and does not have
any other employment which may impair such status.

Section 3 of the bill provides for an effective date of 90 days.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.

JUSTIFICATION: New York State needs to strengthen the
oversight of the
providers of publicly funded special education services to preschool
children, and improve transparency and accountability in the
administration of these services. Audits of such providers by the
Office of the State Comptroller have revealed widespread fraud and
abuse. Such abuse deprives children with special education needs of
the public resources intended for them and threatens the existence of
these special education programs.

Preschool special education programs require and deserve the full time
and attention of their executive directors. Audits have revealed that
many executive directors of provider programs receive large salaries
while maintaining legal residence outside of the State. The audits
have questioned the work products of absentee executive directors
and/or identified redundant costs for executive direction.

Additionally, audits by the Comptroller have revealed the potential
for conflicts of


interest when the program provider that performs the assessment of a
student with special education needs then places the child with
its own program. An audit determined that 83 percent of selected
preschool children were placed in programs of providers who also
evaluated the children. Before placing a child in a program that
has performed an assessment of a student with special education
needs, this bill would require the committee to obtain an evaluation
of the child from another approved evaluator and to apply for and
receive approval from the Commissioner of Education prior to making
any recommendation that would place a child in such program.

These problems and potential problems should be remedied so that
taxpayer dollars are spent appropriately on the children in need of
such services.

The Comptroller urges passage of this legislation.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Savings to State and local
taxpayers.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the
ninetieth day after it shall have become a law.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  5568

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                              May 21, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sen. FLANAGAN -- (at request of the State Comptroller) --
  read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to  be  committed  to
  the Committee on Education

AN  ACT  to  amend  the  education law, in relation to special education
  services and programs for preschool children with handicapping  condi-
  tions

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. Paragraph c of subdivision 4 of section 4410 of the  educa-
tion  law,  as amended by chapter 474 of the laws of 1996, is amended to
read as follows:
  c. The documentation of the evaluation shall  include  all  assessment
reports and a summary report of the findings of the evaluation on a form
prescribed  by  the  commissioner  including a detailed statement of the
preschool child's individual needs. The summary report  shall  not  make
reference  to  any specific provider of special services or programs. In
addition, with the consent  of  the  parents,  approved  evaluators  and
committees  shall be provided with the most recent evaluation report for
a child in transition from programs and services  provided  pursuant  to
title  two-a  of  article  twenty-five of the public health law. Nothing
shall prohibit an approved evaluator or  the  committee  from  reviewing
other  assessments  or  evaluations  to determine if such assessments or
evaluations fulfill the requirements of the regulations of  the  commis-
sioner. Notwithstanding any inconsistent provisions of this section, the
committee  [,  in its discretion, may obtain] SHALL NOT PLACE A CHILD IN
AN APPROVED PROGRAM THAT CONDUCTED AN EVALUATION OF  SUCH  CHILD  UNLESS
THE  COMMITTEE  OBTAINS an evaluation of the child from another approved
evaluator AND THE COMMITTEE APPLIES FOR AND RECEIVES APPROVAL  FROM  THE
COMMISSIONER prior to making any recommendation that would place a child
in  the  approved program that conducted the [initial] evaluation of the
child.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD10634-01-3

S. 5568                             2

  S 2. Subdivision 9 of section 4410 of the education law is amended  by
adding a new paragraph g to read as follows:
  G. AS PART OF AN APPLICATION SUBMITTED PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH A OF THIS
SUBDIVISION,  A  PROVIDER  OF SPECIAL SERVICES OR PROGRAMS SHALL CERTIFY
PURSUANT TO REGULATIONS OF THE COMMISSIONER THAT ITS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR:
(I) IS A RESIDENT OF THIS STATE; (II) MEETS THE CRITERIA ESTABLISHED  BY
THE  COMMISSIONER  TO  BE  AN EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR; AND (III) IF PAID AS A
FULL TIME EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, HE OR SHE IS EMPLOYED IN A FULL TIME, FULL
YEAR POSITION AND DOES NOT HAVE ANY OTHER EMPLOYMENT  WHICH  MAY  IMPAIR
SUCH STATUS.
  S  3.  This  act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall
have become a law.

S5568A (ACTIVE) - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A7302A
Law Section:
Education Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §4410, add §4410-c, Ed L

S5568A (ACTIVE) - Bill Texts

view summary

Relates to special education services and programs for preschool children with disabilities; audits by the state comptroller of the expenses reported by program providers of special education services for preschool children with disabilities.

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S5568A

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to
special education services and programs for preschool children with
disabilities; to amend the education law, in relation to audits by the
state comptroller of the expenses reported by program providers of
special education services for preschool children with disabilities; and
directing the department of education to study alternative systems of
reimbursement methodologies and monitoring protocols for the tuition and
maintenance components of special education services programs for
preschool children with disabilities

PURPOSE:

This Legislation would provide for greater oversight and improve the
quality of special education preschool provider programs in this State.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1 of the bill amends Subdivision 4 of Section 4410 of the Educa-
tion Law to establish that if a committee on preschool education recom-
mends placing a child in an approved program for preschool children with
disabilities if such program had previously conducted an evaluation of
such child, the committee shall indicate in writing that such placement
is an appropriate one for the child.

Section 2 of the bill amends Subdivision 9 of Section 4410 of the Educa-
tion Law to require a provider of special education services or programs
to certify as part of its application that its executive director or
person performing the duties of a chief executive officer: (i) meets the
criteria to be an executive director established by the Commissioner of
Education; and (ii) if paid as a full time executive director, he or she
is employed in a full time, full year position and shall not engage in
activity that would interfere with or impair such executive director's
ability to carry out and perform his or her duties, responsibilities and
obligations.

Section 3 of this bill adds a new Section 4410-c of the Education Law
requiring the Comptroller, within such funds as are made available for
such purpose, to audit the expenses reported to the Department of Educa-
tion by every special education services program provider for preschool
children with disabilities in this state. Pursuant to a plan developed
by the Comptroller, such audits shall be conducted in a manner as to
cause every provider to be audited by the Comptroller at least once by
March 31, 2018.

Section 4 of this bill directs the Commissioner of Education to prepare
a comprehensive study of alternative systems of reimbursement methodol-
ogies and monitoring protocols for the tuition and maintenance compo-
nents of special education services programs for preschool children with
disabilities.

The results of the study shall be published no later than one year
following the effective date of this act and shall be submitted to the
Governor, the State Comptroller, the Temporary President of the Senate
and the Speaker of the Assembly.

Section 5 of the bill provides that this act shall take effect imme-
diately; provided, however, that sections 1 and 2 of this act shall take
effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

New bill.

JUSTIFICATION:

New York State needs to strengthen the oversight of the providers of
publicly funded special education services to preschool children, and
improve transparency and accountability in the administration of these
services. Audits of such providers by the Office of the State Comp-
troller have revealed widespread fraud and abuse. Such abuse deprives
children with special education needs of the public resources intended
for them and threatens the existence of these special education
programs. The frequency of these audits needs to be increased. This
legislation would require the Comptroller to audit the expenses reported
to the Department of Education by every special education services
program provider for preschool children with disabilities in this state
at least once by March 31, 2018.

Preschool special education programs require and deserve the full time
and attention of their executive directors. Audits have questioned the
work products of absentee executive directors and/or identified redun-
dant costs for executive direction. This bill would require a provider
to certify that it meets certain criteria.

Additionally, audits by the Comptroller have revealed the potential for
conflicts of interest when the program provider that performs the
assessment of a student with special education needs then places the
child with its own program. An audit determined that 83 percent of
selected preschool children were placed in programs of providers who
also evaluated the children. Before placing a child in a program that
has performed an assessment of a student with special education needs,
this bill would require the committee to indicate in writing that such
placement is most appropriate for the child.

Finally, there are many inequities in the current system of funding
special education services program providers for preschool children with
disabilities. To possibly remedy these inequities, this legislation
would direct the Department of Education to study alternative systems of
reimbursement methodologies and monitoring protocols for the tuition and
maintenance components of special education services programs for
preschool children with disabilities.

These problems and potential problems should be remedied so that taxpay-
er dollars are spent appropriately on the children in need of such
services.

The Comptroller urges passage of this legislation.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

Savings to State and local taxpayers.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect immediately; provided, however, that sections
1 and 2 of this act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it
shall have become a law.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                 5568--A

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                              May 21, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sen. FLANAGAN -- (at request of the State Comptroller) --
  read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to  be  committed  to
  the  Committee  on  Education  --  committee discharged, bill amended,
  ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee

AN ACT to amend the education law,  in  relation  to  special  education
  services  and  programs  for  preschool children with disabilities; to
  amend the education law, in relation to  audits  by  the  state  comp-
  troller  of  the  expenses  reported  by  program providers of special
  education services  for  preschool  children  with  disabilities;  and
  directing  the department of education to study alternative systems of
  reimbursement methodologies and monitoring protocols for  the  tuition
  and  maintenance components of special education services programs for
  preschool children with disabilities

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1. Paragraph c of subdivision 4 of section 4410 of the educa-
tion law, as amended by chapter 474 of the laws of 1996, is  amended  to
read as follows:
  c.  The  documentation  of the evaluation shall include all assessment
reports and a summary report of the findings of the evaluation on a form
prescribed by the commissioner including a  detailed  statement  of  the
preschool  child's  individual  needs. The summary report shall not make
reference to any specific provider of special services or  programs.  In
addition,  with  the  consent  of  the  parents, approved evaluators and
committees shall be provided with the most recent evaluation report  for
a  child  in  transition from programs and services provided pursuant to
title two-a of article twenty-five of the  public  health  law.  Nothing
shall  prohibit  an  approved  evaluator or the committee from reviewing
other assessments or evaluations to determine  if  such  assessments  or
evaluations  fulfill  the requirements of the regulations of the commis-
sioner. Notwithstanding any inconsistent provisions of this section, the

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD10634-09-3

S. 5568--A                          2

committee, in its discretion, may obtain an evaluation of the child from
another approved evaluator prior to making any recommendation that would
place a child in the approved program that conducted the [initial] eval-
uation  of the child.  IF THE COMMITTEE RECOMMENDS PLACING A CHILD IN AN
APPROVED PROGRAM THAT ALSO CONDUCTED AN  EVALUATION  OF  SUCH  CHILD  IT
SHALL  INDICATE IN WRITING THAT SUCH PLACEMENT IS AN APPROPRIATE ONE FOR
THE CHILD. IN ADDITION,  THE  COMMITTEE  SHALL  PROVIDE  NOTICE  TO  THE
COMMISSIONER OF SUCH RECOMMENDATION.
  S  2. Subdivision 9 of section 4410 of the education law is amended by
adding a new paragraph g to read as follows:
  G. AS PART OF AN APPLICATION SUBMITTED PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH A OF THIS
SUBDIVISION, A PROVIDER OF SPECIAL SERVICES OR  PROGRAMS  SHALL  CERTIFY
PURSUANT  TO  REGULATIONS  PROMULGATED  BY THE COMMISSIONER THAT IT WILL
TAKE MEASURES TO ENSURE ITS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OR PERSON PERFORMING  THE
DUTIES OF A CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER:  (I) MEETS THE CRITERIA ESTABLISHED
BY  THE  COMMISSIONER TO BE AN EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR; AND (II) IF PAID AS A
FULL TIME EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, HE OR SHE IS EMPLOYED IN A FULL TIME, FULL
YEAR POSITION AND SHALL NOT ENGAGE IN ACTIVITY THAT WOULD INTERFERE WITH
OR IMPAIR SUCH EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S ABILITY TO CARRY OUT AND PERFORM HIS
OR HER DUTIES, RESPONSIBILITIES AND OBLIGATIONS.
  S 3. The education law is amended by adding a new  section  4410-c  to
read as follows:
  S  4410-C.  AUDITS OF SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES PROGRAM PROVIDERS FOR
PRESCHOOL CHILDREN  WITH  DISABILITIES.  1.  NOTWITHSTANDING  ANY  OTHER
PROVISION  OF  LAW  TO  THE  CONTRARY  AND WITHIN SUCH FUNDS AS ARE MADE
AVAILABLE FOR SUCH PURPOSE, THE COMPTROLLER  SHALL  AUDIT  THE  EXPENSES
REPORTED  TO  THE DEPARTMENT BY EVERY PROGRAM PROVIDER OF SPECIAL EDUCA-
TION SERVICES FOR PRESCHOOL CHILDREN WITH  DISABILITIES  IN  THE  STATE.
PURSUANT  TO  A  PLAN DEVELOPED BY THE COMPTROLLER, SUCH AUDITS SHALL BE
CONDUCTED IN A MANNER SO AS TO CAUSE EVERY SUCH PROVIDER TO  BE  AUDITED
BY  THE  COMPTROLLER  AT  LEAST ONCE BY MARCH THIRTY-FIRST, TWO THOUSAND
EIGHTEEN.
  2. A. THE PRIORITY AND  FREQUENCY  OF  SUCH  AUDITS,  AND  ANY  AUDITS
CONDUCTED  THEREAFTER,  SHALL  BE  BASED  UPON A RISK ASSESSMENT PROCESS
CONDUCTED BY THE COMPTROLLER WHICH MAY INCLUDE INVESTIGATIONS OF ALLEGED
IMPROPRIETIES, PREVIOUS AUDIT FINDINGS  AND  RECOMMENDATIONS,  OR  OTHER
FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE INDICATORS.
  B.  IN UNDERTAKING SUCH AUDITS THE COMPTROLLER'S REVIEW SHALL INCLUDE,
BUT NOT BE LIMITED  TO,  EXAMINING,  AUDITING  AND  EVALUATING  RELEVANT
FINANCIAL  DOCUMENTS  AND  RECORDS OF PROVIDERS FOR THE PARTICULAR YEARS
INCLUDED WITHIN THE SCOPE OF THE AUDIT.
  C. ALL AUDITS SHALL INCLUDE ANY APPROPRIATE FINDINGS  AND  RECOMMENDA-
TIONS OF THE COMPTROLLER REGARDING THE PROPRIETY OF THE AMOUNTS REPORTED
AS  EXPENSES  TO  THE  DEPARTMENT  AS  WELL AS ANY OTHER FINDINGS DEEMED
APPROPRIATE WITH RESPECT TO THE PUBLIC FUNDING OF THE SPECIAL  EDUCATION
SERVICES.
  D.  THE  COMPTROLLER SHALL REFER ANY FINDINGS OF FRAUD, ABUSE OR OTHER
CONDUCT CONSTITUTING A CRIME THAT ARE UNCOVERED DURING THE COURSE OF  AN
AUDIT,  AS  WARRANTED  TO  AN  APPROPRIATE AGENCY OR AGENCIES POSSESSING
JURISDICTION.
  E. THE FINAL AUDIT REPORT RESULTING FROM AUDITS PERFORMED PURSUANT  TO
THIS  SECTION  SHALL  BE POSTED TO THE DEPARTMENT'S INTERNET WEBSITE AND
OTHERWISE MADE AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC UPON REQUEST FOR A PERIOD  OF  AT
LEAST FIVE YEARS. FURTHERMORE, THE AUDITED PROVIDER SHALL BE REQUIRED TO
POST THE FINAL AUDIT REPORT ON ITS INTERNET WEBSITE, IF ANY, FOR A PERI-
OD OF FIVE YEARS.

S. 5568--A                          3

  F. THE COMPTROLLER SHALL INFORM AND ADVISE THE GOVERNOR AND THE LEGIS-
LATURE  IN  DECEMBER  OF  EACH  YEAR  REGARDING  ITS  AUDITS OF EXPENSES
REPORTED TO THE DEPARTMENT BY PROGRAM  PROVIDERS  OF  SPECIAL  EDUCATION
SERVICES  FOR  PRESCHOOL CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES CONDUCTED DURING THE
PRECEDING  TWELVE  MONTHS  AND REGARDING ANY OTHER PERTINENT INFORMATION
THE COMPTROLLER DEEMS APPROPRIATE.
  S 4. The legislature finds that special  education  services  programs
for  preschool children with disabilities have been susceptible to fraud
and abuse.  Therefore, the New York state  department  of  education  is
hereby  directed to conduct a comprehensive study of alternative systems
of reimbursement methodologies and monitoring protocols for the  tuition
and  maintenance  components  of special education services programs for
preschool children with disabilities.
  The results of the study shall be published no  later  than  one  year
following  the effective date of this act. A copy of the results of such
study shall be submitted to the governor,  the  state  comptroller,  the
temporary president of the senate and the speaker of the assembly.
  S  5.  This act shall take effect immediately; provided, however, that
sections one and two of this act shall take effect on  the  one  hundred
twentieth  day after it shall have become a law; provided, further, that
effective immediately the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any  rule
or  regulation necessary for implementation of this act on its effective
date is authorized to be made on or before such effective date.

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