WXXI AM News

Monroe County approves pay hikes for preschool special education providers

Apr 10, 2019

The Monroe County Legislature on Tuesday night approved legislation proposed by County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo to set new reimbursement rates for preschool special education providers.

Under the new contracts, the reimbursement rate has increased 15%, which is the first local rate hike in a decade.

Preschool special education is a state-mandated program that provides services to special needs children between the ages of 3 and 5 years of age.

Dinolfo issued a statement saying that, “Now it’s time for Albany to follow our lead by working together to fairly-fund its Early Intervention program, just as we did here for Preschool Special Education.”

As WXXI News reported in March when Dinolfo first proposed the new rates, while providers said they were pleased about the increase, advocates had also called for a larger increase, of 35 to 40 percent.

Dinolfo proposed the 15 percent increase to help stave off an impending shortage of speech therapists, child psychologists, counselors for parents and others who work in preschool special education.

This story was produced by WXXI’s Inclusion Desk, focusing on disabilities and inclusion.