Superintendents Urge Funding for SBHCs

CongressListen to Serena Clayton on KCBS: Report 1 | Report 2. Read the California Healthline report.

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).

Read the letterSee the list of California’s superintendents who signed the letter. Read NASBHC’s press release. Read an editorial in support of SBHCs from the SFUSD Superintendent.

“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.

California’s signatories to the letter include:

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

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