"We had to sit down and run the numbers and really think through what we are going to do," said Laura Cook of the Pacific Autism Center. "We came very close to making a decision to close because we couldn't sustain not knowing when we are going to get paid or if we are going to get paid."
The Pacific Autism Center recently moved from a 4,800 square-foot site to an 1,800 square-foot site. They are down from 17 children to seven. The center has some private-pay students and others paid for by military TRICARE insurance.
"We need the DOE to be responsible and we need them to fulfill the requirements and stop playing all these games," said Cook.
In a statement released Monday, DOE Deputy Superintendent Ronn Nozoe said, "Our highest priority is to ensure Hawaii's students receive a high-quality education. The Hawaii State Department of Education has paid and continues to make payments for services provided by Loveland Academy in cases where there is no legal dispute regarding the DOE's obligation to pay. We must be diligent in ensuring payments to Loveland, as well as other providers, are made appropriately."
Tuesday night on KITV4 News at 6, we'll hear from the families affected by Loveland's closure.