ESA leaders and school
superintendents are "overwhelmingly concerned" and "deeply worried" about students in special education programs and those living in poverty if Republican proposals to refinance Medicaid are enacted, according to a new survey by AESA.
In the report Cutting Medicaid: A Prescription to Hurt the Neediest Kids, close to 1,000 school leaders detailed the educational and economic consequences of a proposed 30 percent cut in Medicaid reimbursements. Republicans have expressed a desire to reduce federal Medicaid spending by distributing funding through a block grant or a per-capita cap, which would shift costs to states.
The survey was administered by AESA, AASA, and ASBO. Key findings included:
- Two-thirds of respondents indicated they use Medicaid funds to pay salaries of health care professionals who provide services for students. If a 30 percent cut were to occur, many districts would have to furlough or lay off school personnel who are paid for, in part or mainly through Medicaid reimbursements.
- The loss of Medicaid funding could result in new local tax levies or requests for higher taxes to subsidize special education programs and health services for students in poverty.
- Nearly half of respondents said they use Medicaid funds to expand health-related services for students.
The report urges members of Congress "to weigh how children will be impacted by a Medicaid block grant and to reach out to school leaders for specific insights about the importance of their school-based Medicaid programs for students."
For specific questions about the report, contact Sasha Pudelski, AASA assistant director, policy and advocacy, at