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May 29, 2009

 

DiNapoli: Eight Long Island School Districts Getting it Right in Providing Special Education Services

Eight school districts on Long Island all complied with statutory and regulatory requirements for students referred for special educational services, according to an audit released today by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

“These Long Island school districts are getting special education right,” DiNapoli said. “The districts have established good channels to communicate the students’ needs and progress with parents and everyone involved in providing these important services. The districts are successfully providing the special education services the students need.”

DiNapoli’s auditors examined the individual education programs at Baldwin, East Islip, Massapequa, North Shore, Northport-East Northport, Plainedge, Sachem and Syosset school districts after State Senator Carl L. Marcellino requested the audit.

“In these difficult fiscal times, it is crucial that we ensure that every penny of every tax dollar is being spent wisely,” Marcellino said. “The results of this audit show that Long Island schools are providing the type of special education services that the students and their parents deserve. Comptroller DiNapoli should be applauded for being a persistent champion for both students and taxpayers.”

School districts are required to follow certain federal and state laws and regulations when they provide services to children with disabilities. The audit, which covered July 2005 to May 2008, found that the districts all complied with these laws and regulations.

Specifically, DiNapoli’s auditors found the districts:

  • complied with referral and evaluation requirements by properly participating in committee on special education meetings and completing full evaluations within 60 days;
  • developed and implemented required individual education plans in a thorough and timely manner;
    did a good job of ensuring that all parties involved in implementing each student’s education plan were aware of their responsibilities; and
  • delivered the services prescribed in each student’s individual education plan.

The audit’s only recommendation stated that the districts should keep a log of the special education services provided to each child by district personnel and other providers to readily demonstrate that each student received his or her prescribed services.

District officials agreed with the audit’s recommendations. Click here to view the audit.

To view the individual school audits:
Baldwin: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/audits/swr/2009/compliance/baldwin.pdf
East Islip: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/audits/swr/2009/compliance/eastislip.pdf
Massapequa: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/audits/swr/2009/compliance/massapequa.pdf
North Shore: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/audits/swr/2009/compliance/northshore.pdf
Northport-East North Port: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/audits/swr/2009/compliance/northport_eastnorthport.pdf
Plainedge: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/audits/swr/2009/compliance/plainedge.pdf
Sachem: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/audits/swr/2009/compliance/sachem.pdf
Syosset: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/audits/swr/2009/compliance/syosset.pdf

School District Accountability
In order to improve accountability of the state’s schools, DiNapoli’s office will audit all of New York’s school districts and Board of Cooperative Educational Services by 2010. The State Comptroller’s office has completed 585 school audits and approximately 160 school audits are currently underway.


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