Student Issues

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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Action Alert! Urge Senators to Protect Medicaid Funding to Schools

Kansas schools receive approximately $46 million in Medicaid reimbursements that could be put at risk as the U.S. Senate writes legislation this month to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). State education leaders should contact Senators Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran immediately to urge the Senate to explain the impact of Medicaid funding. Many Kansas children receive speech, physical therapy and behavioral therapy at school via special education services mandated by their Individualized Education Plan (IEP). Schools then apply for and receive Medicaid reimbursement for many of those costs. If Kansas schools lose Medicaid reimbursement for those services,...

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Free meal sites can be found via text

Children and parents can find free summer meal sites by sending a text message. Children ages 18 and younger may receive free meals and snacks at approved sponsor sites under the Summer Food Service Program. By texting the word “food” or “comida” and their zip code to 877-877, a text message listing participating locations and their hours of operation will be sent. “One of the biggest barriers to kids getting the food they need in the summer months is that families simply don’t know help is available,” said Derrick Lambert, program manager for No Kid Hungry’s Center for Best Practices. “We wanted...

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Action Alert: Education advocates urged to contact Congress about proposed Medicaid cuts

KASB members and other educational leaders should contact their members of Congress to urge them to vote against cuts to Medicaid reimbursements to public schools. The cuts are found both in the federal Fiscal Year 2018 budget released today and a House of Representatives proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. In early May, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which puts at risk the roughly $4 billion in annual Medicaid reimbursements for in-school services such as speech, physical therapy and behavioral therapy. Kansas Representatives Lynn Jenkins, Kevin Yoder, Roger...

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DOE budget will cut critical school funding

The Washington Post is reporting the Trump Administration’s official budget for the federal Department of Education (DOE), to be released next week, will cut critical funding to Kansas public schools and redirect to school choice initiatives. You can view a breakdown of federal funding to Kansas schools here. As KASB reported last month, the administration’s budget “blueprint” that contained few details would eliminate Title II funding ($2.4 billion) 21st Century Learning Center grants ($1 billion) and federal Impact Aid ($66 billion) from the DOE budget. The DOE documents obtained by the Post indicate the department’s full budget will be released...

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Mandating Applied Behavior Analysis Services in Kansas school districts

KASB is providing this fact sheet (below) on the issue of Applied Behavior Analysis, which has generated much discussion since House Bill 2410, the proposed school finance measure, was advanced with a provision that would require ABA therapy for public school students in some cases. The measure has prompted questions about the cost of such therapy, who would pay, who is qualified to provide it and how many students would be eligible. `Mandating Applied Behavior Analysis Services in Kansas School Districts' answers these questions and many more. As the school finance bill advances through the Legislature, we encourage education officials to...

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Innovative districts say new data raises questions

Members of the Coalition of Innovative School Districts expressed some concerns about new information from the Kansas State Department of Education that shows individual high school graduation rates and how those students are doing after graduation. Coalition members said during a meeting Thursday they wanted to make sure the data was complete and that people understood what the information meant. Recently, Kansas Education Commissioner Randy Watson released National Student Clearinghouse data that shows approximately 65 percent of Kansas students who graduated in 2010 enrolled in college the next year. Tracking those students six years later, only 40 percent had earned a...

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Committee continues work on school finance

Committee continues work on school finance bill The House K-12 Education Budget Committee is expected on Friday to advance a much-amended school finance bill to the full House for consideration. House Bill 2410 has been the focus of school finance discussions to address a Kansas Supreme Court order to put together a new formula by July 1 to replace the unconstitutional block grant system. The bill would restore many provisions of the pre-block grant school finance formula and increase school funding by approximately $750 million over five years. Two controversial provisions have been added to the bill. One requires school districts to provide...

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Child Nutrition Developments: Regulatory Relief and Congressional Action

On Monday, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue released a proclamation directing the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to begin taking specific steps to assist school districts with meeting food content requirements associated with the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act.  The Secretary announced that USDA will begin the process of amending regulations to provide schools with additional options regarding the serving of whole grains. The proclamation states that while the Department continues to formally create more flexibility in existing regulations, the USDA will continue to provide states the authority to grant exemptions to schools experiencing hardship in obtaining whole grain-rich products acceptable...

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