Ventura County Expects Drop in School Medicaid Funds
Ventura County school districts could lose hundreds of thousands of dollars if CMS moves forward with its plan to stop paying districts for transporting disabled students and for other Medi-Cal-related services, the Ventura County Star reports. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program.
Federal officials maintain that the transportation and administration costs primarily support educational programs, rather than services that Medi-Cal funds for low-income children. Only reimbursing schools for actual health services would save CMS $635 million in 2008-2009, and $3.6 billion over five years, according to the Star.
Statewide, public schools stand to lose more than $100 million in reimbursements.
Education officials said students will not lose the transportation services if the reimbursements end, but school districts would have to find other funding.
Ric Nargie, who oversees special education for the Ventura Unified School District, said the district already is underfunded for special education services and the proposed cut would add to the shortfall.
A group of federal lawmakers in February introduced the "Protecting Children's Health in Schools Act of 2007" to stop the changes, but the bill is still in committee (Carlson, Ventura County Star, 10/14).