Monday, July 3, 2017

California school leaders fear GOP cuts to Medicaid could harm special education | 89.3 KPCC

California school leaders fear GOP cuts to Medicaid could harm special education | 89.3 KPCC:

California school leaders fear GOP cuts to Medicaid could harm special education



California education officials are sounding the alarm over Congressional Republicans' proposed health care overhaul bills, saying changes to Medicaid could leave the state or school districts scrambling to pay for critical special education services they don't have the option of cutting.


The health care bill the U.S. House passed in May would place a cap on Medicaid payments to states, a move that could trim states' Medicaid funding by 25 to 35 percent.
Funding from Medicaid, referred to in California as Medi-Cal, helps school districts cover the costs of serving special education students who are entitled to receive critical healthcare services in school — such as a child who needs a ventilator or a feeding tube.
If a child's "individual education plan" — the negotiated document spelling out supports a student with disabilities must receive a "free and appropriate" public education — calls for these services, California Department of Education spokesman Robert Oakes said districts are required to provide them at school, with or without Medi-Cal.
"If Medi-Cal funding drops because there’s a cap," Oaskes said, "the school districts are going to have to pay for it. We don’t know where that kind of funding is going to come from."
The current U.S. Senate health care bill also contains cuts to Medicaid. But Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) delayed a vote on the legislation before the July 4 recess — in part because members of his own caucus raised concerns about the Medicaid provisions.
Schools across the U.S. receive roughly $4 billion in Medicaid reimbursements, according to a national organization representing school superintendents, and nearly two-thirds of U.S. school districts use this funding to pay for not only health California school leaders fear GOP cuts to Medicaid could harm special education | 89.3 KPCC:

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