Federal Policy Issues

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Federal Policy Issues

PSEA works with the NEA to monitor federal issues that impact our schools, our students, and our professions. This includes legislation in Congress and policy changes from the U.S. Department of Education and other federal agencies. 

U.S. Supreme Court: Fair Share Fees

The U.S. Supreme Court will consider a case this year designed to further rig the rules against working people.

Janus v. AFSCME is an attempt to prevent unions like PSEA from charging fees for the services unions provide. The case is the latest push by well-heeled, anti-public employee forces to attack organized labor. A ruling for the plaintiffs would conflict with the court's long-established deference to state decisions about their public workforces.

The justices will hear oral arguments on Feb. 26, and a decision is expected by June.

College Affordability

Painful funding cuts have resulted in rising costs for colleges and universities. Graduates are often saddled with crushing student loan debt. Seven out of every 10 Pennsylvania students have debt that averages more than $33,000.

We can do better. That's why the National Education Association has launched the Degrees Not Debt Campaign.

Repealing the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid cuts

How this affects students

If Congress repeals the Affordable Care Act, states would see a 25 percent reduction in their Medicaid funding, and Pennsylvania school districts would lose $140 million in Medicaid funds that support our neediest students.

A lot is at stake. More than 1.2 million Pennsylvania children are enrolled in Medicaid today, and many of them receive critical health services during the school day. Those services are at risk if the Affordable Care Act is repealed.

  • Under the IDEA, school districts are reimbursed for services to Medicaid-eligible students with an IEP or IFSP. Schools would be asked to continue providing services, but with less funding.
  • Mental health care, vision and hearing screenings, diabetes, and asthma management are just some of what school children stand to lose.
  • Students in poverty would suffer most if health care screenings, diagnoses, and treatment services reimbursed by Medicaid would no longer exist in schools.
  • Schools would have to furlough or lay off school personnel who are paid for, in part or entirely, through Medicaid reimbursement.
  • These cuts would negatively impact the ability to deliver critical mental health services for students.