Make Data-Driven Decisions to Control Special Education Spending
Are you facing special education budget cuts in your district?
Are you worried fewer funds and resources will hurt your ability to provide a free, appropriate public education to students with special needs, as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act mandates?
Do you want proven solutions for running a high quality and cost-efficient therapy program tailored to your students’ goals?
If so, consider a partnership with Pediatric Therapeutic Services, Inc (PTS).
For more than two decades, we’ve staffed, supported, and managed school-based therapy programs in ways that help students succeed more and budgets go farther.
To do it, we use a process of data collection, analysis, and reporting we developed called BudgetWatch™.
This award-winning, patent-pending system gives special education administrators like you the solid insights you need to make decisions that optimize your related services program while controlling its costs.
Collected Data + Clinical Directors = The Costs of Special Education Controlled
How exactly does BudgetWatch™ work?
First, it collects critical data about your program—caseload size, number of referrals, therapy costs in each building, and more—directly from therapists when they enter their billing into our proprietary billing system.
Then, PTS’ Clinical Directors interpret the data from BudgetWatch™ reports and bring you specific staffing, programming, and budgeting strategies. The individualized, biannual Program Summaries they present are easy to understand, highlighting each school’s strengths and needs.
All our Clinical Directors are expert, experienced therapists. They understand the challenges, including budget cuts, special education programs in schools face—and they’ve met them.
They’re highly qualified to develop, implement, and directly manage seamless service for your students while fitting your district’s budget.
Five Kinds of Decisions BudgetWatch™ Helps You Make
Your Clinical Director will use BudgetWatch™ to help you make data-driven decisions about managing at least five major areas of your program:
BudgetWatch™ does more than quantify cost increases and decreases. It identifies the reasons for them. BudgetWatch™ reports track and correlate caseloads and costs by therapist, building, and discipline. As a result, they uncover and explain trends.For example, reports can show how PTS therapists stabilize caseload growth costs by treating students in small groups, or why smaller caseloads can still raise expenses if they’re high-intensity (such as more low-incidence students needing direct services). Reports can also track kindergarten costs, and the cost of special education per student for those who’ve moved into the district or who require more time and support.
BudgetWatch™ pinpoints how your program spends time, too. It tracks therapy hours by category: direct or indirect, individual or group, and diagnostic. This tracking allows us to make sure therapists comply with a student’s IEP as well as industry and our company’s efficiency standards.By documenting IEP time covered and therapists’ use of productive strategies—for instance, seeing students in small groups to promote individual progress, socialization, and peer modeling all at the same time—our reports give you an accurate picture of how much money and time your district is saving.
BudgetWatch™ tracks referrals and discharges to monitor caseload stability, ensure therapists effectively move students through the continuum of service, and confirm they provide the appropriate level of service at each grade level. The data we collect allows us to see how many students were referred for evaluation, whether they were screened first, and how many of them qualified for therapy.From that data, we deduce the referrals’ quality, help streamline a referral process, and develop additional program supports—for example, RtII programming for handwriting or articulation to serve students who need short-term interventions, but don’t require IEPs and specially designed instruction.
- Site-Specific Programs
PTS’ hands-on management of your program at the building level sets us apart from other service providers. And because BudgetWatch™ tracks hours by category, caseload numbers, and referrals, we manage it in the most cost-effective ways.For example, once we’ve analyzed data about a building’s resource allocation trends, we know which strategies will work best to decrease referrals overall, increase quality referrals, and reduce long-term costs. We might educate school staff through free in-services, create and implement RtII groups and pre-referral interventions, or introduce therapist-designed resources. BudgetWatch™ helps clarify exactly which site-specific programs belong where.
BudgetWatch™ reports have clear implications for staffing. The collected data include hours billed, caseload numbers, efficiency and grouping percentages, and new referrals. You’ll be able to see whether your team has the resources and capabilities to best meet students’ needs. Do your therapists consistently provide best practice interventions, adequately consult with and support school staff, easily add new referrals onto schedules, regularly attend IEP meetings, and effectively move students with disabilities through the continuum of service? Our reports will tell you, and help you decide what staffing adjustments you should make.
Adjustments in any or all of these areas could make major differences in your program’s ability to deliver first-rate services while keeping the cost of special education under control. But until you have customized, in-depth data analysis, you won’t know which areas to address first.
BudgetWatch™ can give you the clarity you need.
You and Your District Need BudgetWatch™ Now
With public school funding under pressure, special education budget cuts are increasingly common. Administrators like you can’t afford to make anything less than well-informed, data-driven decisions at every turn.
That’s why the insights BudgetWatch™ reports and your PTS Clinical Director give matter so much. You’ll be in a better position than ever to make your related services program the most effective and efficient it can be.
To discover more about putting PTS’ BudgetWatch™ to work for you, call us at 610-941-7020 or contact us online today.