State Education Department

Preschool Handicapped Education Program (Follow-Up Review)

The preschool handicapped education program was created in 1989 to provide special educational services to three and four-year olds who are diagnosed as having certain handicapping conditions. The program is administered by school districts and counties, and is overseen by the State Education Department.

In our prior audit report 93-S-23, we examined the reasons for the steep increase in program costs, which exceed $500 million annually. We determined that much of the cost increase could be attributed to an increase in the number of children who were diagnosed as speech impaired. We concluded that some of these diagnoses may not have been appropriate and children were often placed in costly institutional programs when less costly noninstitutional programs may have been just as effective. In our follow-up review, we found that, largely because of recent legislative changes, progress has been made in addressing the problems described in our prior audit report.

For a complete copy of Report 96-F-31 click here.
For a copy of the 90-day response click here.