City public schools lost $356 million during the past three years in federal Medicaid payments for special education services because city and state officials failed to properly apply for reimbursement, the Daily News has learned.
“Red tape and bureaucracy should not stand in the way of (the city) being reimbursed for the vast array of services provided,” city Controller Scott Stringer said in a report obtained by The News.
As a result, between 2012 and this year, the city Department of Education kept shifting funds originally slated for books, supplies and other general costs to pay for those special education services, Stringer said.
And unless officials reform their practices quickly, the school system will miss out on another $310 million from Medicaid over the next four years — for an astonishing total loss of $666 million.
“That’s just unacceptable,” Stringer said. “There’s no excuse for leaving so much money on the table.”
Think about all the things the state had to do to "win" $700 million in Race to the Top money - change teacher evaluations, sign on to the Common Core (or some other "college and career-readiness standards), change the state tests, create a data tracking system for all the stats.
Now think about the city and state together throwing away $356 million in federal reimbursements for special education services and getting set to throw away another $310 million over the next four years for a total of $666 million overall.
That's almost the entire Race to the Top award for the whole state.
All the city had to do was get its paperwork in order to get the money.
But it couldn't do it.
The next time you hear somebody, especially somebody in the media, talk about what a "fiscal genius" Bloomberg was, remember how much money in special education services reimbursements he threw away through his own ineptitude.
$356 million dollars.
Not a lot of money to the Mayor of Money, I'm sure, but a lot of money that then had to be taken out of the city public schools budget and couldn't be used on other things like books, supplies and general costs.
When you add up all the money Bloomberg wasted through his tech boondoggles like the 911 system redo, the NYCHA computer system redo, the FDNY GPS fiasco, etc., along with the fraud perpetrated against the city under Bloomberg's watch (like the CityTime fraud, the various NYCDOE scandals, etc.), you get a picture of a mayor who had no clue what he was doing but got hailed in the media as a "fiscal genius" because a) he owned half of it and b) most journalists bow down to power, especially when that power might be their boss somebody.
We now have one more example of Bloomberg's incompetence in this special education reimbursement mess.