Nineteen California school superintendents — including State Superintendent Tom Torlakson — have signed on in support of a joint letter by the California School Health Centers Association (CSHC) and the National Assembly for School-Based Health Care (NASBHC).
|“The West Contra Costa Unified School District is definitely in support of funding for school based health centers. Since we’ve added them to our schools in 2007, our high school attendance is up, our dropout rate is down, violence in our schools is way down and academic achievement is up.” – Dr. Bruce Harter, Superintendent, West Contra Costa Unified School District|
The letter calls for inclusion of $50 million for the operations of SBHCs in the fiscal year 2014 budget and was sent by NASBHC to Senator Harkin and Representative Kingston, as well as to other members of Congress. School administrators from other states also signed the letter.
SBHCs are improving the health of children and youth, many of whom would otherwise go without necessary health and mental health services. The Affordable Care Act — aka “health care reform” — created an SBHC operations grant program, but did not fund it.
CSHC joins NASBHC and hundreds of school health stakeholders in urging Congress to appropriate $50 million to fund this program. We estimate that, of $50 million appropriated nationally, California would receive $8 million.
With this money:
• 160 SBHCs could provide medical care to 32 uninsured patients each week—for a total of almost 250,000 additional visits each year.
• 100 SBHCs could hire a mental health clinician to provide therapy, including crisis, grief, and long-term counseling, to uninsured students—reaching 15,000 more students each year.
• 120 school-based outreach and enrollment specialists could help over 100,000 students and family members sign up for insurance.
• 120 SBHCs could hire a youth program facilitator to lead school-wide efforts to build a healthy school climate, prevent and address violence, and promote positive youth development.
Tom Torlakson, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, California
Dr. Trudy Arriaga, Superintendent, Ventura Unified School District
Dorma Baker, Superintendent, Pajaro Valley Unified School District
Dr. Daryl Camp, Superintendent, Riverbank Unified School District
Richard Carranza, Superintendent, San Francisco Unified School District
Dr. John Deasy, Superintendent, Los Angeles Unified School District
Robert Frausto, Superintendent, Kerman Unified School District
Jon Gundry, Superintendent, Pasadena Unified School District
Dr. Bruce Harter, Superintendent, West Contra Costa Unified School District
Bill Kowba, Superintendent, San Diego Unified School District
Dr. Debbra Lindo, Superintendent, Emery Unified School District
Richard Martinez, Superintendent, Pomona Unified School District
Kari McVeigh, Superintendent, New Haven Unified School District
Marco Petruzzi, Chief Executive Officer/Superintendent, Green Dot Public Schools
Jonathan Raymond, Superintendent, Sacramento City Unified School District
Neil Smith, Co-Superintendent, Berkeley Unified School District
Dr. Tony Smith, Superintendent, Oakland Unified School District
Edward Velasquez, Superintendent, Lynwood Unified School District
Kirsten Vital, Superintendent, Alameda Unified School District