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Parsons Preschool facility on 91st Street in Woodhaven.
By Michael V. Cusenza
Auditors have found a total of $11.7 million in costs that should be recouped after examining eight preschool special education providers, including three in Queens, State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli announced Friday.
According to the audit, Parsons Preschool, which operates facilities in Woodhaven, Jamaica, and Queens Village, is a for-profit organization authorized by the State Education Department to provide full-day preschool special education services to disabled children between the ages of 3 and 5 years. Auditors identified $1,782,360 in reported costs that did not comply with State requirements. Those included $612,855 in non-reimbursable personal service costs for paid lunch periods for employees and $394,811 in undocumented rental expenses.
Auditory Oral Learning Center is a not-for-profit organization authorized by SED to provide services to children with disabilities between the ages of 3 and 5. AOLC provides programs to children in 21 different school districts in all boroughs excluding the Bronx. Auditors identified $1,025,977 in costs the center reported for reimbursement that did not comply with state requirements, including: $334,774 in employee compensation that was not properly supported by time and attendance records, and $691,203 in other than personal service costs and depreciation.
And Quality Services for the Autism Community is a nonprofit that has 13 classrooms—11 of which are located in Queens—attended by children with autism. Auditors identified $128,294 in reported costs that did not comply with requirements for reimbursement. The ineligible costs included $111,791 in personal service costs for 107 direct-care employees and 34 administration employees.
“Over the last decade, we have found a persistent pattern of mismanagement, waste and even fraud by preschool special education providers,” DiNapoli said.