The U.S. Departments of Education (ED) and Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a new grant opportunity this week that would utilize funding provided under the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act to expand mental health supports in schools.
The new funding opportunity, called State Grants for the Implementation, Enhancement, and Expansion of Medicaid and CHIP School-Based Services, will provide $50 million administered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to States that seek to expand mental health service offerings through their school-based Medicaid programs. State Medicaid agencies would be tasked with working with their State educational agencies to amend their current Medicaid plans to “improve and increase Medicaid reimbursement for services provided in schools.”
CMS plans to award up to 20 State grants of up to $2.5 million each. At least 10 grant awards will be provided to States that do not currently offer school-based Medicaid services to all eligible children, not only certain subgroups, like children with disabilities. The funds would be available for a three-year period. CMS will prioritize funds to States that intend to make sustainable changes to their Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program to expand services in schools, including targeting services to rural and underserved populations.