More on medicaid special education cuts

The National School Boards Association ("NSBA") has been in front of this issue and doing its best to change the impact of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' ("HHS") efforts to effectively cut special education funding.  I reported on the new proposed HHS rule in the September 10, 2007 entry.  More information about the proposed cuts and NSBA's efforts can be found in the August 2007 Legal Clips.  An index and links to many NSBA documents produced in its advocacy against the change is found in the Advocacy and Legislation section of the website.

I believe the issue of special education funding - and the lack of it - is of great concern to both parents and schools.  Hopefully, together parents and schools will fend off any rule change that in effect cuts financial support for our special children.

The demise of a charter school, burden of proof, and a quorum

Welcome again Mark Fitzgerald as guest blogger.  This time, he writes about the process of revoking a charter school's charter.  In the case involved the charter school could not overcome declining student performance on the state's accepted measure of annual yearly progress.  The case also presents discussion about the burden of proof (placed on the charter school) and, for anyone running a meeting, a ruling about what constitutes a common law quorum.  Mark is a member of the Education Law Group with a practice emphasis in Labor and Employment. Click here to find out more about Mark’s background and contact information.  Kudos!

The tumultuous five years of the Ronald H. Brown Charter School appears to be over. Earlier this Summer, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court in Ronald H. Brown Charter School v. Harrisburg City School District, upheld an order of the State Charter School Appeals Board which had earlier determined evidence was sufficient to support the local school board’s non-renewal of the charter. The Charter School had failed to meet statutory requirements as it related to accepted standards of fiscal management or audit requirements, as well as failed to demonstrate improvement in student academic performance.

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New proposed federal rule will take away Medicaid support for special education services

On Friday, September 7, 2007 the federal Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) announced its proposed rule change to eliminate Medicaid reimbursement to schools providing certain administrative services and transportation.  The proposal is lengthy, but as the summary states:

under the proposed rule, Federal Medicaid payments would no longer be available for administrative activities performed by school employees or contractors, or anyone under the control of a public or private educational institution, and transportation from home to school and back for school-aged children with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or an Individualized Family Services Plan (IFSP) established pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

The proposal rule would not affect federal reimbursement for direct medical services such as speech and physical therapy. 

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