Pa. Senate Dems say Medicaid expansion could help fund Philly schools

    Could some of the Philadelphia School District’s financial woes be eliminated if Gov. Tom Corbett expanded Medicaid eligibility?

    State Senate Democrats have proposed a budget plan that would generate an extra $120 million for the school district. It boosts funding, in part, by counting on $154 million in savings by expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

    State Sen. Vincent Hughes, D-Philadelphia, this week again called on Corbett to approve the expansion.

    “Use it to help low-income school districts across the state deal with some very significant budget problems that they have,” he said.

    Corbett has not supported Medicaid expansion so far, saying it would cost the state billions of dollars in future years.

    In order to close a $304 million budget gap, Philadelphia School District officials are begging the city and state for additional funding. They’ve asked the labor unions for more than $100 million in givebacks as well.

    The district sent layoff notices to nearly 3,800 employees last week, including teachers, assistant principals and guidance counselors.

    The Senate Democrats’ budget plan has a very slim chance of success.

    The state House on Tuesday delayed a vote on a GOP spending proposal, which does not anticipate extra funding from a Medicaid expansion. Democratic state senators also tried Monday to force a vote on Medicaid expansion, but failed.

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