How the ‘Public Charge’ Rule Would Impact NYC Schools

(Photo by Christina Veiga via Chalkbeat)

Immigrants who use certain forms of public assistance – including non-emergency Medicaid, food stamps and housing subsidies – could be denied permanent residence under the Department of Homeland Security’s proposed redefinition of “public charge.”

Dr. Viju Jacob, who has worked in school-based health clinics for 15 years, is concerned that many immigrants would no longer apply for benefits out of fear that their green card application could be rejected.

How would this impact NYC public schools? Chalkbeat’s Reema Amin reports:

And fewer Medicaid enrollees would mean fewer dollars rolling into clinics that serve at least 387 schools across the system, since they operate through partnerships with healthcare providers and depend, in part, on Medicaid funding that students may claim. It’s too early to tell what the impact might be, but advocates, analysts, and even the federal government have acknowledged that the rule change could result in a drain on funding.

“It’s bad enough for the families, and it’s even worse for us because we rely heavily on that funding stream,” said Jacob.

According to Jacob, who is also board chairman of New York School Based Health Alliance, it’s typical for clinics to receive between two-thirds to half of their funding from Medicaid.

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