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ISBE can you hear me?

Advocates held a press conference at Chicago’s Thompson Center this morning. Thirteen legal and education groups including Legal Council for Health Justice sent an open letter to the Illinois State Board of Education today, requesting an independent investigation of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Special Education program in light of investigative journalism from WBEZ revealing undisclosed budget cuts and creation of a secret manual mandating policies resulting in decreased provision of Special Education services. Read the full letter...

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Thank your local congressperson

Nine hardworking Congresspeople sent a letter demanding answers to charges of discrimination against people living with HIV and AIDS by insurance plans. The letter was signed by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Rep. Robin Kelly (D-IL), Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL), Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-IL), Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL), Rep. Bobby L. Rush (D-IL), Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL), Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI), and Rep. John Lewis (D-GA).

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Special education expose

First in a series of investigative reporting from WBEZ reveals the Chicago Public Schools overhauled special education and relied on a “secret” set of guidelines “that resulted in limiting services for special education students, services like busing, one-on-one aides, and summer school.”

Our child health policy leader Amy Zimmerman is quoted extensively. Some excerpts below. Read the entire article here.

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Graham-Cassidy

Excerpted from our comments submitted by policy director Carrie Chapman to the Senate Finance Committee Hearing on Graham-Cassidy Bill: If this proposal succeeds, the devastating financial impact on Illinois is clear (Avalere Health, September 20, 2017). By shifting Medicaid expansion funds and the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) financial assistance into the “Market Based Health Care Block Grant Program,” Illinois will lose $8 billion dollars between 2020 and 2026 as a penalty for expanding Medicaid in our state—a lawful and fiscally wise decision for Illinois. When this block grant expires, Illinois will lose $10 billion in 2027 alone. When taken together with other reforms in the proposal, including a dangerous per-capita-cap for the traditional Medicaid program, Illinois will lose a total of $153 billion in federal funding for health care, more than all but four other states. This is a patent...

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Stay-put protections

Governor Rauner signs a bill drafted by Legal Council for Health Justice which clarifies and strengthens the ability of parents and guardians to pursue mediation where there are disagreements with the school about their child’s special education services. In addition to clarifying the process for children to continue to receive special education services during the entire mediation process (called “stay-put protections”), the bill also requires updating of the Notice of Procedural Safeguards for special education that parents must receive. This notice had not been updated since 2009!

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