June 30, 2010

Regents approve special ed cost containment

Source: Research and Educational Services

In an effort to save money, the Board of Regents voted in June to move forward with several special education mandate relief proposals that:

  • Authorize school districts to add up to two additional students to integrated co-teaching classes, upon documented educational justification;
  • Repeal the minimum service delivery requirements for speech and language; and
  • Repeal the requirement that each student with autism receive instructional services to meet his/her individual language needs at a minimum of 30 minutes daily in groups not to exceed two, or 60 minutes daily in groups not to exceed six.

In addition, the Regents also endorsed the following legislative proposals:

  • Establish a one-year statute of limitations to request an impartial hearing and that requests for tuition reimbursement for unilateral parent placements in private schools be presented not more than 180 days from the placement by the parent; and
  • Repeal the authority of the Commissioner to appoint students to State-supported schools; revise the methodology for calculating the State appropriation to such schools; and require the State Comptroller to deduct the tuition rate (minus private excess cost aid) to the school district where the student resides.

At this time, the Regents did not support legislative action that would repeal the requirement for dissemination of copies of students individualized education programs (IEPs) to each regular education teacher, special education teacher, related service provider and other service provider who is responsible for the implementation of the IEP. Before making a decision on this cost containment proposal, the Regents asked SED staff to provide more information on the number of districts currently providing electronic access to IEPs rather than providing paper copies.

For your information, the complete Regents discussion item can be found at:

Our next steps will include providing formal comment on these regulatory and legislative proposals as this process moves forward, and we will ask members to share their comments. Several Regents noted they received more than 8,000 e-mails on this issue after NYSUT posted an e-mail alert. NYSUT will continue making it clear to lawmakers that the union opposes these measures. These cost containment proposals would directly impact students with disabilities and the teachers and staffers who support them.