Senate Debates School-Based Medicaid Programs

Senate Debates Health Policy Changes to Eliminate $4 Billion in Annual Medicaid Funding  

September 2017 - Printable Version

School-based Medicaid programs serve as a lifeline to children who can’t access critical health care and health services outside of their school. Not only does Medicaid provide this coverage in a cost-effective manner, it helps school districts cover costs for special education services and equipment for students who experience disabilities. Medicaid’s role in schools goes beyond special education, as it also pays for health services that all children need, such as vision and dental screenings, when they are provided in schools to Medicaid-eligible children. The decrease in federal Medicaid funding would threaten critical health-related services for students and put an important source of funds for schools and states at risk. The proposed cut to Medicaid disproportionately hurts children. We urge you to carefully consider the important benefits that Medicaid provides to our nation’s most vulnerable children.

Given the importance of ESSA’s formula programs, we are deeply concerned about the House Appropriations Committee’s decision to eliminate funding for $2.3 billion in Title II funding. High functioning schools begin with great teachers and school leaders. Local, state, and federal policies should prioritize and support the professionals serving the nation’s students, including addressing the teacher shortages affecting many school districts. Strengthening the existing educator workforce and recruiting new talent to the professions will require policies and investments that support – not hinder – teachers’ work, especially including the teachers that serve in high poverty communities. Abandoning, or even significantly decreasing, Title II is step in the wrong direction. Some of the for teacher training and class-size reduction, and a $1.2 billion after-school program, which serves nearly 2 million children, many of them poor. A $190 million literacy program would also be cut. After-School funding and other investments such as the flexible Student Support and Academic Enrichment block grant (Title IV), and Preschool Development grants program would also receive cuts.

Timeline for passing the 2018 budget: Summer-Fall: The Republican-run Congress tries to advance spending bills for the 2018 budget year, which begins Oct. 1. Meeting that deadline is highly unlikely, but at some point, budget talks probably will begin - assuming, as many do, that the regular process will have broken down it may be the end of the year before any of the changes Trump wants actually begin to take effect.

Other information pertaining to programs on the chopping block:
Investing in Public Education Now more than ever, the nation must invest in the nation’s public schools.
Preparing the next generation of Americans for academic, work, and life success will require a strong local, state, and federal commitment to funding education infrastructure and evidence based programs designed to promote educational equity and improvement.
Ensuring all Students Graduate with Knowledge and Skills Schools must be on the forefront of efforts to ensure more American workers have access to economic opportunities. NASS is working to ensure all students graduate with rich academic content knowledge, but also the skills required for career and life success.

Promoting integration of CTE into dual enrollment programs and support expanding them to more low-income students. Increasing Kindergarten Readiness NASS is fighting for increased resources for school districts working to expand high quality preschool opportunities and ensuring federal policy reflects a commitment to high quality early learning consistent with the latest research and practice in the field. Special Education.

NASS will call on Congress to provide additional funding for students with disabilities, including the IDEA State Grants formula program, which provides resources to school districts to help ensure students with disabilities succeeds.