SIMI VALLEY: School Board Wants Medi-Cal Funds For Special-Ed Students
The Simi Valley Unified School District's Board of Education last week approved a plan that would allow the district to draw down Medi-Cal funds "for services it already provides to special-education students," the Ventura County Star reports. Under the proposal, the schools would bill Medi-Cal for the costs of providing "occupational therapy, health and psychological evaluations, speech therapy, selected nursing services and transportation." The Star notes that the school district "would be reimbursed at least $50,000" for the services.
A Control Issue
According to the Star, a similar proposal was defeated by the board last summer, "when one of the main sticking points was appointing a committee to oversee the funding." The new proposal, however, allows the board to appoint a committee made up of "a minimum of six community members" to supervise the funds. In addition, "[t]wo school board members also could serve" on the panel. Board trustee Janice DiFatta, who opposed the plan last summer, "said she changed her mind because she learned the board would have 30 days to terminate the agreement if the committee was going in a direction" not backed by the school district. But board trustee Norm Walker "upheld his objection" to the plan, saying he has "very grave concerns over where this collaborative may lead." Walker further said he "object[s] on the principal of being told that we can't spend our money the way the elected representatives of the district feel it ought to be spent" (Doyle, 3/20).