Advocates for children with disabilities packed the Monroe County Legislature tonight over the funding crisis in preschool special education.
Under law, Pre-K special education services such as speech and physical therapy must be provided to eligible children ages 3 to 5 years old.
But state reimbursements have remained flat for years, forcing many teachers to leave the field.
Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo announced three months ago that she would raise reimbursement rates, but advocates are angry the rates only apply to individual service sessions. They claim Dinolfo mislead them.
A county spokesman says that’s not true.
According to the children’s agenda, about 2700 children ages 3 to 5 rely on pre-school special ed every year.
It says because of low pay, there is a critical shortage of service providers.