Schools Take a Hit on Student Health
Education Week reported a couple of months ago that a change to Medicaid reimbursement rules could cost districts Billions in the coming years. Currently, schools that provide health care services for Medicaid-enrolled children with disabilities can be reimbursed by Medicaid for transportation and administrative costs. But a Bush administration decision may well bring an end to all that.
Districts across the country are now bracing for the double impact of lost Medicaid reimbursements and a potentially "wrenching" fiscal crisis. (A very hasty Google search of news stories over the past few weeks turned up articles about the effect of Medicaid changes on schools in Florida, Arizona, Wisconsin and others.)
Opponents of the rule change have at least some cause for hope. The Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP Extension Act of 2007 has bought them time: It delays implementation of the rules until June 30. You can be sure that advocates for school health will spare no effort over those months to reverse the changes.
According to representatives of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which proposed the changes, Districts have used the money for non-Medicaid services.
Mary Kusler of the American Association of School Administrators begs to differ. Districts use the Medicaid reimbursements, she argued in the Education Week Article, to "plug the hole" in their budgets created by district spending on Medicaid-eligible services.
This seemingly arcane change in the rules can have an enormous impact on schools' ability to deliver services to their most vulnerable children.
Click here for the letter in which 40 national education groups successfully urged Congress to place a moratorium on this proposal. Signatories include AASA, AFT, ASBO International, CCSSO, NASSP, NEA, National PTA, and NSBA.
Click here to browse dozens of Public School Insights interviews with extraordinary education advocates, including:
- 2013 Digital Principal Ryan Imbriale
- Best Selling Author Dan Ariely
- Family Engagement Expert Dr. Maria C. Paredes
The views expressed in this website's interviews do not necessarily represent those of the Learning First Alliance or its members.
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