Trumcare would hurt PA schools and the special needs children they educate

Trumpcare, now being considered by the U.S. Senate, could result in Pennsylvania schools losing hundreds of millions of dollars in special education funding.

 

Trumpcare makes deep cuts to Medicaid, which helps pay for things like therapy equipment, teacher aides, and other health-related services that help students with physical and developmental disabilities do their schoolwork.

 

Pennsylvania receives about $143 million a year for these services.

 

Schools are required by federal law to provide these services; even if the federal money disappears, the services cannot, nor should they.

 

That means the state and school districts will have to make up for these lost federal dollars.

 

Which would mean higher state taxes and local property taxes -- or cuts in other programs for students and higher fees for parents.

 

We hear Republicans complain endlessly about unfunded mandates at the state level.

 

Now, congressional Republicans at the federal level are preparing to shift hundreds of millions of dollars in mandated costs to local schools and taxpayers.

 

So much for consistency.

 

And so much for any claim by Trump or congressional Republicans that they care about providing a quality education and a chance for academic success to all of our kids.