- The U.S. House of Representatives voted today (Thursday May 4) to approve a bill to repeal and replace the federal Affordable Care Act (a/k/a “Obamacare”) with new legislation known as the American Health Care Act (ACHA). The measure was passed on a 217-213 vote.
Among other things, the ACHA would make profound changes to the state-federal partnership program known as Medicaid or Medical Assistance, including reducing by $880 billion over the next 10 years the amount of Medicaid dollars the federal government sends to states. These changes would significantly impact the ability of students with disabilities and students in poverty to receive critically necessary health services in public schools. The changes would require schools to compete for limited Medicaid funding, which would likely result in arbitrary caps on the amount of Medicaid reimbursements made to public schools.
Continue reading U.S. House Passes Obamacare Repeal Bill, Deep Cuts to Medicaid Will Impact Special Education
After a postponement of Thursday’s (3/23) scheduled vote, the U.S. House of Representatives may take up its bill to repeal and replace sections of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also called Obamacare, later today (3/24).
The bill includes numerous changes to the ACA, but most significantly for schools, the bill modifies how the federal government will fund the Medicaid program (also known as Medical Assistance or MA), including how the federal government funds their share of state Medicaid Costs. The bill would enact a per capita cap on federal Medicaid payments to states, thus jeopardizing the Medicaid funding schools receive to provide healthcare services to students, including students with disabilities. Continue reading Federal Healthcare Changes Could Impact Students and Schools
The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has given notice of public hearings on two DPI emergency rules regarding changes to summer and interim session classes (PI 17) and changes to High Cost Special Education Aid (PI 30). Both hearings will on held in Madison, on Nov. 10 (PI 17 ) and Nov. 17 (PI 30), respectively.
The proposed PI 17 rules modifies existing policies and practices, including the following: Continue reading DPI Notices Hearings on Two Proposed Administrative Rules
The new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is intended to significantly shift authority and decision-making to the state and local level compared with the No Child Left Behind Law it replaced.
This week in Washington, a group that included Wisconsin State Superintendent Tony Evers began discussions on how to implement the new law in a way that reflects that new balance between federal authority and state and local authority. As with many complex issues, the devil is often in the details. An update on those discussions follows.
For certain issues, ESSA requires the U.S. Department of Education (USED) to use a process known as “negotiated rulemaking” when writing regulations. Continue reading ESSA Negotiated Rulemaking Gets Underway
Lawyers for the parents of six special needs students have asked a federal judge to declare that Wisconsin’s open enrollment program violates the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.
The lawsuit against four school district, State Superintendent Tony Evers, and the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) was filed in November 2014 by the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL).
The suit alleges the four districts have refused to accept students with special needs who apply for a transfer under the state’s public school Open Enrollment program based solely on the fact that those students have a disability. It asks the federal court to strike down provisions of Wisconsin state law that it says enable public schools to discriminate against children with disabilities who seek to open enroll into public school districts other than the one in which they are residents.
A motion for summary judgment and an accompanying brief in support of granting a summary judgment filed by WILL attorneys this week asks federal judge William Conley to rule on the case now based solely on the pleadings. A trial in the case is set for April of next year.
Continue reading Conservative Group, Parents Ask Judge to Rule Open Enrollment Program Violates Federal Disability Law
The Fox Cities Advocates for Public Education (FCA4PE) is sponsoring 6 rallies throughout the Fox Cities on successive Tuesdays. Three rallies took place in Appleton, Neenah and Kaukauna on June 8, 16, and 23. Three more are scheduled in Kimberly, Menasha and Little Chute.
The remaining rallies are Tuesday evenings from 4:00-5:00 p.m. and will be held at the following locations: Continue reading Community/Parents’ Groups Rally In Support of Public Education