FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Commissioner Welcomes Comptroller's Support for Regents Special Ed Reforms
State Education Commissioner John B. King, Jr. today issued the following statement in response to the State Comptroller’s Special Education audit:
“In November, before the Comptroller began this audit, we adopted a number of reforms to help make sure pre-k special education funding is not subjected to waste, fraud or abuse -- including a proposal to ban for-profit-agencies from contracting for state funded special education services and suspending approval of new providers.
“The Comptroller’s audit makes it clear: more audits need to be done to protect pre-k special education funding. Unfortunately, SED does not have the staff or resources to fiscally audit every special education provider. That’s why the Board of Regents has recommended that the Comptroller’s Office expand its audits of pre-k special education providers across the state.
“The 2005 School District Oversight Legislation enabled the Comptroller’s Office to audit every school district in the state. It was a strong response to a series of criminal acts at a number of school districts. That legislation should be a model for a comprehensive pre-special education provider audit plan that lets the Comptroller’s auditors take a look at providers’ books.
“We’re moving forward with our reforms. We urge the Comptroller to put his army of auditors to work protecting funding for these special needs children. There’s too much at stake for the children in these programs to wait any longer.”
A Regents item detailing the reforms to pre-school special education the Regents approved at its November meeting can be found at:
A memo presenting the proposed reforms to the September meeting of the Regents’ Audits/Budget and Finance Committee can be found at:
Reporters and education writers may contact the Office of Communications by phone at: