Disability rights groups, school administrators spar over possible changes to special education laws

“Times of crisis are not the time to roll back civil rights. It’s actually time to roll up our sleeves and do it right,” said Wendy Tucker, senior policy director of the National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools, a national advocacy group based in New York. “When you roll back civil rights protections, it’s very hard to bring them back.” Tucker’s group is among the dozens that…

U.S. Department of Education Releases Final “Supplement, Not Supplant” Guidance for School Districts

On June 20, 2019, the U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos released final non-regulatory guidance to support school districts’ compliance with the requirement that federal funds supplement, and do not supplant, state and local funds. "Schools need to spend resources on what's best for students, not what's least likely to come up in an audit," said Secretary DeVos. The release of this final…

Rule Proposed on Providing Mental Health ‘Parity’ in Medicaid Program

A federal law that passed in 2008 was supposed to ensure that when patients had insurance benefits for mental health and addiction treatment, the coverage was on par with what they received for medical and surgical care. But until now, the government had only spelled out how the law applied to commercial plans. That changed Monday, when federal officials released a long-awaited rule proposing…

Children’s Health Insurance Program Deserves Funding

"Insuring kids isn't just an act of kindness; it's an investment in a better-educated, healthier and more productive population." In what may be a hopelessly quixotic effort, supporters of the federal Children's Health Insurance Program are trying to persuade Congress to renew its funding almost a year in advance — and in a lame-duck session. Nevertheless, lawmakers ought to heed that call.…

Under New Law, School Nurses Aim to Stop Rise in Vaccination Opt-Outs

In her 33 years as a school nurse, Robyn Ettl has listened, sometimes quietly, sometimes not, to parents in rural Nevada County explain why their children don’t need vaccinations against contagious and potentially fatal diseases, including polio, diphtheria, measles and pertussis. Now, with nearly a half a million 5-year-olds and soon-to-be-5-year-olds registering for kindergarten in the fall,…

Supreme Court Decision on Insulin Injection Shapes the State’s Use of School Nurses

The California Supreme Court's unanimous decision last week that public schools have a right to allow unlicensed -- but trained -- school personnel to administer prescription medication to children was fueled partly by necessity. There's a dearth of school-based nurses in California to administer insulin to children. As diabetes and obesity among children have risen, the number of school…

Welfare and Institutions Code Section 14131-14138: LEA Services Description

The Medi-Cal Benefits Program comprises a department-administered uniform schedule of health care benefits. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, "health care services" shall be limited to the benefits set forth in this article and in Section 14021; notable citations, W&I section 14132.06 (direct services) and section 14132.74 (administrative claiming). View WIC_S…