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VESID Committee


Rebecca H. Cort  


Cost Containment Proposals Relating to Special Education Requirements


April 1, 2010


Goals 1 and 2




Issue for Discussion

              Do the Regents support additional legislative and/or regulatory amendments that potentially may provide cost-saving mandate relief in special education?

Reason for Consideration

              Policy discussion.

Proposed Handling

              This item will come before the Committee for discussion at its April 2010 meeting.  

Background Information


                  In April 2009, the Board of Regents discussed specific State law/regulation requirements in special education that, if repealed or amended, may result in administrative relief and/or cost savings to school districts.  The proposals included only those areas that, given other safeguards in place, were not expected to significantly impact the quality of special education supports and services available to students with disabilities.  Some of the proposed areas would have provided administrative relief to school districts; others may have had a more direct cost-saving effect.  As a result of this discussion, and in consideration of public comment, the Regents provided support for legislative proposals on a limited number of these proposals including:







The above proposals were submitted to the legislature in 2009, but were not enacted.  They will be resubmitted for consideration during the 2010 legislative session.

Consideration of Additional Mandate Relief Proposals

              Given the current fiscal climate for school districts, organizations representing public school districts have requested that the Department reconsider additional cost-containment recommendations relating to special education.   These recommendations include relief from minimum service delivery, maximum caseload and instructional group size requirements for certain special education services.

              Upon review of the State requirements that exceed the federal requirements, we are bringing the issue of mandate relief in special education back to the Regents to determine if there is support to advance additional cost-containment proposals that would not diminish a district’s responsibility to provide a free appropriate public education to all students with disabilities.    

              The following cost-containment recommendations are submitted for further consideration.







The Department is actively exploring and promoting other systems of conflict resolution, and through contract with the New York State Dispute Resolution Association (NYSDRA), and in collaboration with the State’s special education parent centers, will conduct 15 regional sessions annually to promote the early resolution of disputes and use of mediation. NYSDRA will also be piloting individualized education program (IEP) mediators and the Department will explore other options used by other states such as third-party assistance and advisory opinions.

Next Steps:

              With support of the Regents, the Department would propose revised regulations and/or legislative amendments and seek public comment on the above recommendations.