New York City obviously thinks that providing special education for pre-kindergarten students is very important, since the city just agreed to pay private contractors $1 billion to teach the kiddos. This amount is almost twice as much as they paid in 2006.
Around 25,000 students will benefit from this program. All of these students suffer from various developmental, learning, physical, or other disabilities. Although the number of students who benefit from these pre-k special education programs have been slowly increasing, the costs per child have been increasing more rapidly. The average cost per child is now about $40,000 each year. However, the expenses for some students can be as high as $200,000.
Where is the money going? The city pays private contractors to offer classes at day care centers, nursery schools, and even in the students’ homes. The classes consist of physical, occupational, and speech therapy sessions that last 30-minutes.
Although this is obviously an important and valuable resource for pre-kindergarten students, education and budget officials are not thrilled with the cost of these programs. Read the rest of this entry »