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NYT Aarticle - Companies Shortchanged Preschool Special Ed Program

6/25/2012 4:06:09 PM

 NYT Article - Companies Shortchanged Preschool Special Ed Program


Companies Shortchanged Preschool Special Education Program, State Audits Find


The owners of a Bronx company that employs teachers for disabled toddlers used thousands of dollars in government funds to fix up a weekend getaway in the Poconos, state auditors found. A Brooklyn company in the same program, which provides treatment for prekindergarten special education students, billed taxpayers for his wife’s $150,000 salary as his assistant director when she was a full-time professor at the City University of New York, the auditors said.

And the owners of an upstate company improperly diverted more than $800,000 to pay, among other things, rent and interest to themselves and the full-time salary of an executive who lived in South Carolina and seldom worked.

Those are among the findings of the first of 18 audits being conducted by the state comptroller, Thomas P. DiNapoli, of the preschool special education program, a $2 billion system that relies almost exclusively on private contractors, many of them for-profit companies, to deliver services to 3- and 4-year-olds.

The first three audits, which have already led to criminal charges, are to be released on Monday.

Read more here.

Sent by Barbara Crosier

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