A common theme in articles about public school funding is the severe impact of the depletion of pandemic financial aid, resulting in large monetary shortfalls to provide appropriate education to children in impoverished areas. In a August 25 Chalkbeat article written by Matt Barnum, a strong warning is presented to address the need to improve funding systems to address inequalities in American education, which result in significant barriers for specific groups of children. The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is a valuable resource for tapping additional funds for eligible children.
As recently as August 18, the Center for Medicaid and CHIP released the newsletter, “School-Based Services (SBS) Information in Medicaid: Funding, Documentation, and Service Expansion.” This bulletin expresses eligibility for funding and includes Individualized education program (IEP) and Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) under the Persons with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). It states that school transportation documentation can play a significant role in assembling the documentation required to receive funding for Medicaid-covered school services for eligible children. Transportation documentation is permitted to document eligibility to receive Medicaid and CHIP income. This possibility should be explored as a long-term source of revenue for school districts.
Typically, when I view a newsletter of this nature, I do a word search that includes the word “transportation”. The word transport is on page 11 of this 19-page newsletter. It was stated in the footnotes that “attendance records can generally be used to document that the student was present on the day a Medicaid service was rendered or that the student was present on the day they were included in transportation logs as receiving transportation to receive a necessary service. health insurance service. It further states that “transportation logs can be used, in conjunction with attendance logs, to show that a student was at school on the day the student was transported offsite for medical attention.” This readily available option for collecting traffic data can make a significant difference in securing school district revenue.
What has always been reported as problematic when verifying ridership data is the driver’s and instructor’s lack of attention to how students scan their cards when boarding and alighting the school bus. Children in wheelchairs were not accurately recorded when boarding or disembarking the school bus, and there was a lack of knowledge about alternate drivers and attendants not knowing how to collect the data . All of these issues can be resolved to ensure data accuracy to access additional revenue. Transportation technology can replace an outdated manual system to receive more responsible revenue.
Related: The Ripple Effect of Medicaid Cuts on Student Transportation
Related: Members of Congress Advocate for Better Health Insurance for School Bus Employees
Related: Medicaid Eligibility for Transportation Services for Students with Disabilities
There is no shortage of student transportation software to meet the documentation requirements put forward by the Center for Medicaid and CHIP. Additional guidelines set out in the bulletin encourage getting on board and using school bus technology to generate revenue for school districts.
This opportunity should be diligently explored by the administrative leadership of the school district. A critical consideration for success is the technical support and ongoing training available from a selected vendor. The role of technology depends on user understanding.
In summary, school travel tracking technology is an available and effective means of documenting eligibility for funding for services covered by Medicaid and CHIP. Exemplary transportation leadership can play a critical role in securing additional long-term funding to serve the most vulnerable children in our nations’ school districts.
Linda F. Bluth, Ed.D., is an expert witness, tenured faculty member of the National Conference on Transportation of Students with Disabilities and Special Needs and member of the Hall of Fame as well as past president of the National Association for Student Transportation.