Good News: Back-to-School with Health Insurance
Good news arrived earlier this month from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services! The department announced $40 million in new grants to organizations across the country to identify and enroll eligible but uninsured children in Medicaid and CHIP. Thanks to these grants, the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) will work with CDF to conduct outreach in eight school districts in four states—California, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi. Various strategies will be used to target eligible children and help them enroll in health coverage, including adding questions about insurance status to school enrollment documents and providing training on Medicaid and CHIP enrollment procedures. We’re excited to work with AASA and to see more children get the critical health services they need to survive and thrive through Medicaid and CHIP!
Thanks to a separate grant, CDF-Texas will collaborate with the Texas Leadership Center and the Texas Association of School Administrators to target at-risk adolescents and their families in 17 high schools in five districts in Houston and the Rio Grande Valley region along the Mexican border. CDF continues to develop innovative strategies to reach all children!
Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan are also committed to ensuring students of all ages are healthy and ready to learn this school year. They sent a joint letter encouraging governors to help increase enrollment in Medicaid and CHIP through back-to-school and ongoing school-based outreach activities across their states.
And if you’re a young adult—or the parent of one—and worried about health coverage in college, check out this great new resource from our friends at the Young Invincibles. They have created a free tool-kit explaining the insurance options for students in every state along with new updates about the health care law. Download the Toolkit now!
These efforts—and those to preserve Medicaid and CHIP—couldn’t be more important; new data released this month from the Urban Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that despite an additional 2.5 million children eligible for Medicaid and CHIP in 2008 and 2009 due to the continued economic downturn, the number of children eligible for and enrolled in the programs actually increased. Even with these gains in coverage, the report found that 4.3 million children still remain eligible for Medicaid or CHIP, but not enrolled.
Stand With Us Through the Budget Battles
On August 2nd, after months of tense negotiations surrounding how to raise the debt ceiling and reduce the deficit, Congress passed and President Obama signed into law “The Budget Control Act of 2011,” preventing the nation from defaulting for the first time in our history. Since then, the nation's debt ceiling has been raised and a plan for deficit reduction has begun to take shape, but our work to protect children and families from deep cuts is only just beginning. The August 2nd deal tasks a congressionally-appointed, bipartisan Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction, dubbed the “Super Committee”, with developing recommendations for $1.2 trillion in spending cuts or new revenues before Thanksgiving. You can learn more about the Super Committee and what children could lose on our Children’s Budget Watch page.
Major reports continue to be released demonstrating that more and more children continue to fall behind; falling into poverty and going to bed hungry. Critical programs that keep children healthy and nourished, like Medicaid and CHIP, and the Supplemental Food and Nutrition Program (SNAP), remain at great risk. We cannot give up.
Remember, we never give up on any child’s hopes and futures. Please act as life and death decisions are about to be debated and made by Congress with children as the vulnerable, sacrificial lambs. Your gift—whatever you can give—will help CDF continue to be a strong voice for America’s children at a time of desperate and growing need. The Children’s Defense Fund urgently needs your help in the round of cuts coming in the weeks and months ahead. Our children need you. Please continue to stand with us as we demand a level playing field for every child.
Social Security: An Intergenerational Lifeline
Did you know Social Security pays more cash benefits for children than any other federal program? More than 6.5 million American children receive part of their family income from Social Security and, in 2009, the program lifted 1.1 million children out of poverty. Check out our new interactive map providing a state-by-state breakdown of what Social Security means for children and their relative caregivers.
On September 15th the Fourth National GrandRally for Grandparents and Other Relatives Raising Children will focus attention on the important role Social Security plays for children in the midst of scarce resources and a tumultuous economy. Fourteen year old Yolanda Howard, featured last Sunday on 60 Minutes, who has been raised since birth by her Great Aunt will share her story and the haunting song she wrote about her ”Daddy“, a man she has met only once in her young life, at the event. Register for the event and watch our new GrandRally video today.
NEW VIDEO: Full-Day Kindergarten
Far too many young children don’t have access to full-day kindergarten, and are thus missing a critical half step in the early learning continuum. Yet only 10 states require by statute that school districts provide full-day kindergarten. CDF will continue to make the case for these young children in the months ahead. Watch new videos on our YouTube channel as thought leaders Kristie Kauerz of the Harvard Graduate School of Education discusses a full-day K myth and Linda Sullivan-Dudzic gives specific details of how the Bremerton School District in Washington transformed student achievement by seamlessly connecting pre-K through 3rd grade.
Stay up to date with the latest news in early childhood by subscribing to our Early Childhood Education and Care Monthly Newsletter.
Give a Poster as a Gift
Check out our large selection of school-oriented posters on our online store developed through a historic twenty-five year partnership between CDF and the award-winning advertising firm Fallon Worldwide. These posters are $3 each, and while some of them have outdated statistics, they are guaranteed to spark discussion.