Education groups worried over impact of reduced Medicaid spending

By Nick Niedzwiadek

12/18/2017 05:04 AM EDT

A coalition of New York’s biggest education groups are concerned that potential federal cuts to Medicaid will have a negative impact on education in the state.

“Most New Yorkers are unaware of the significant role Medicaid funding plays in our schools,” New York State Educational Conference Board Chairman John Yagielski said in a statement.

The group — a coalition of major state education organizations including teachers unions, parents and school district leaders and administrators — released a fact sheet on Monday about how reduced Medicaid funding would affect schools.

Some of New York’s Medicaid dollars go toward things like school-based health centers, in which students receive primary care and other services in school rather than elsewhere, and services needed for students with disabilities who require an individualized education plan.

President Donald Trump has proposed capping the program and shifting Medicaid to a block grant to states.

A School Superintendents Association survey of administrators indicated that Medicaid cuts would likely hamstring special education funding for many schools, causing schools to stretch other resources to try to cover the difference.

“In many cases, school districts would be forced to curtail these important services — again, in order to provide mandated services,” the ECB fact sheet states.

joint medicaid letter