Preschool Special Education Program

New York State Education Laws state that parents or guardians of children 3 to 5 years suspected of having a disability or a developmental delay may contact their school district's Committee on Preschool Special Education to be considered for Special Educational Programming.

School Districts are responsible for assuring the provision of Special Education to eligible three- and four-year-olds or until they are eligible for public school. To qualify for Special Education, an evaluation by a state-approved preschool program is obtained and reviewed by the school district's Committee on Preschool Special Education. The Committee then writes an Individual Educational Program either recommending a center-based educational program or related services such as Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy or Itinerant Special Education. Related services are to be provided at the child's home or daycare center, wherever the child would normally be found. Each child is deemed a "child with a disability" for purposes of eligibility for preschool programming. Recommendations, without the child's name, are presented to the school districts' Boards of Education for review.

Counties are responsible to contract with service providers and transporters. Tuition rates, multidisciplinary evaluation rates and Itinerant Teacher rates are determined by the State. The related services' rates are determined at the County level. The cost of transportation to services is approved through a bidding process in accordance with provisions of the general municipal law.

For preschool services and transportation expenditures, the counties are reimbursed by the state at 59.5%. The counties receive $75 per child for administrative costs.

School districts are reimbursed for each child referred to the Committees on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) in their school district. If their cost exceeds the federal allocation and is approved by the Commissioner of Education, the county is responsible for the additional costs incurred by the school district. The county would then receive 59.5% reimbursement from the state for CPSE administrative costs.