Safety and Security

Senate Medicaid debate picks up as Congress returns

The roiling U.S. Senate debate over healthcare – and possible Medicaid cuts to public schools – resumes this week as Congress returns from its July 4th recess. If Kansas school leaders have not already expressed concerns about possible cuts to Medicaid reimbursements to schools, they should contact Sen. Pat Roberts and Sen. Jerry Moran, as pressure mounts to pass a bill as early as this week. Grassroots opposition to the Better Care Reconciliation Act, which seeks to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, (“Obamacare”) forced Senate leadership to postpone a late-June Senate vote on the bill. The BCRA could...

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Education leaders urged to continue voicing concerns as Senate GOP delays vote on health care bill

Senate Republican leaders Tuesday announced a delay in voting on the health care bill, which gives education leaders more opportunities to let their congressional representatives hear their concerns about proposals that would reduce Medicaid spending, which could impact thousands of Kansas schoolchildren. "It is extremely important that school leaders and education advocates stay alert to fast-moving changes on the federal level on health care, changes that could have a big impact on our schools and students," KASB Executive Director John Heim said. Republicans in the U.S. House have already approved a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act and Senate GOP...

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In Your School Board Review: Medicaid, budget bills will impact Kansas schools

KASB members and allies should contact Kansas Members of Congress to urge them to reject proposed federal budget cuts to programs that are important to Kansas schools. President Donald Trump’s federal budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2018 includes cuts to Medicaid reimbursements to schools as well as Department of Education cuts that would eliminate $56 million in funds to Kansas education programs and direct additional resources to “school choice” initiatives. Trump’s budget calls for $800 billion in cuts to Medicaid, including reimbursements for school-based services. The cut assumes that a healthcare bill passed by the U.S. House becomes law. In early May,...

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Senate needs your Medicaid examples

Revenue sources, student issues, safety and security, newsroom, federal issues U.S. Senators Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran need to see specific examples this week from Kansas school districts of the impact of possible cuts to Medicaid reimbursements to schools. Sources in Washington, D.C. say the U.S. Senate is close to moving forward on a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or “Obamacare.” The bill, which has not been made publicly available, could contain language that would allow states to no longer consider public schools Medicaid service providers, severely limiting Kansas schools’ ability to receive reimbursements for services...

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Special education leader asks Roberts, Moran to defend Medicaid

Medicaid funding is crucial in helping students with disabilities, the incoming president of the Kansas Association of Special Education Administrators said as she urged U.S. Sens. Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran to protect Medicaid dollars during deliberations on a proposed health care bill. “Medicaid funding for schools is essential in order to adequately support students with disabilities and provide for their educational needs,” said Amy Haussler, who also is Director of Special Education at the Holton Special Education Cooperative. “School districts provide services by licensed personnel commensurate to what one could receive in a clinical setting. Accordingly, schools should receive equitable...

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Kansas education groups call on Roberts, Moran to protect Medicaid funding to schools

The Kansas Association of School Boards, United School Administrators-Kansas and the Kansas Association of Special Education Administrators (KASEA) are calling on U.S. Sens. Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran to protect Medicaid payments to schools as the U.S. Senate writes a health care bill designed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as “Obamacare.” Kansas schools currently receive approximately $46 million in Medicaid reimbursements for in-school services such as speech, physical therapy and behavioral therapy mandated by students’ Individualized Educational Programs under federal law. Those funds could be placed at risk if the Senate bill contains provisions...

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KASB conducts workshop on recent special education decision

More than 70 educators from across the state gathered at KASB on Monday to learn about the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision on special education. Sarah Loquist, KASB attorney, led a workshop on the Endrew F. v Douglas County (Colorado) School District ruling in which the court set a higher standard for schools to follow in providing education to students with disabilities. Loquist said the previous standard to determine whether a student received appropriate education services was based on showing merely more than minimal progress. The new standard is more ambitious. The unanimous decision states that "every child should have the...

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State Board working on Kansans Can, teacher retention

The Kansas State Board of Education will be working on its Kansans Can goals, teacher shortages and many other topics during its monthly meeting Tuesday and Wednesday. Here is a link to the board’s agenda and backup materials. The board will: Receive an update from the Early Childhood team to support kindergarten readiness, which is one of the five areas of focus under the State Board’s Kansans Can initiative of helping every student become successful. Discuss a proposed marketing campaign for teacher recruitment and retention. A state task force has reported that the number of teacher education majors and teaching...

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KASB offers summary and seminar on Supreme Court special education decision

A recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court could have a significant impact on how school districts develop services for special education students, according to the KASB legal department. KASB attorneys have prepared a summary of the Endrew F. decision released last month, and will hold a special seminar on the  implications of that case for school leaders and special education staff on Monday, May 8 at the KASB office in Topeka. In the decision, the U.S. Supreme Court found that the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals (which includes Kansas) had not been applying the appropriate standard to determine whether a...

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