According to Berlin Superintendent Corinne Cascadden, Berlin could lose a minimum of $100,000 in Medicaid funding as a result of the proposed health care law, reported the Berlin Daily Sun:
Berlin Superintendent of Schools Corinne Cascadden said she is deeply troubled that the Berlin district faces losing a minimum of $100,000 in Medicaid funding.
“Berlin currently has 24 percent of its students identified with disabilities, a much greater percentage than the state average. To make up for such a dramatic loss in funding from Medicaid, other school programs will need to be eliminated to meet the needs of students,” she said.
Cascadden said the city’s tax rate of $39.97 is already among the highest in the state and there is a large senior population living on fixed income. She said taxpayers could not afford to make up for the loss.
The SSA figures show the Gorham, Randolph, Shelburne Cooperative District received $75,771 in fiscal year 2016, a 30 percent cut would be $22,731. Milan School District received $21,553, a 30 percent cut would be $6,466.
Despite the loss of funding, special education services are mandated by federal and state law, said Dr. Carl Ladd, the Executive Director of the New Hampshire School Administrators Association.
“If schools lose funding from Medicaid, districts would face huge budget shortages and could be forced to cut access to behavioral health services, health screenings, and school nurses that countless students depend upon,” Ladd said.
Senator Maggie Hassan told reporters that New Hampshire schools could lose a minimum of $8.7 million, which helps to ensure that children with disabilities have access to a quality education:
“Countless children who experience disabilities in New Hampshire are able to go to school and participate in their communities because of the Medicaid program,” Hassan said.
She said she feels the Medicaid cuts are part of a hidden agenda targeting the education rights of students with disabilities.
“We cannot go back to the days where we marginalized or don’t assist some of our most vulnerable students, and I will continue fighting against these senseless cuts to ensure that every student – regardless of their personal circumstances — has the support they need,” Hassan said.