St. Louis: $20 million from Medicaid for MO SPED students

August 1, 2017, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Cuts to Medicaid would affect special needs students across St. Louis region Amid the national noise about potential cuts to Medicaid, some school administrators are trying to bring attention to one arguably lesser-known group that would be affected: their students. That’s because public schools don’t just provide education for children. As required by federal law, they also spend hundreds of millions on an array of expensive medical services for thousands of students with special needs, whether it be private-duty nursing, personal care attendants, physical therapy, speech therapy or occupational therapy…. Ratcliffe said studies show it costs twice as much to educate students with special needs than students without disabilities. ... At least $20 million from Medicaid goes to Missouri school districts, which educate about 128,400 students from ages 3 to 21 who receive special services. The amount Missouri districts typically receive can be tens of thousands of dollars or as much as a few million. The most goes to St. Louis Public Schools, which educates about 3,300 students with an Individualized Education Program, meaning they receive special education services. The district received $4.4 million in Medicaid during the 2015-2016 year.