School Health Care Remains Popular in CA

School-based health care is growing in California and providing more services and health care access for students.  There are now 246 school-based health centers (SBHCs) providing high-quality health care to students. Across California, more than 265,000 students attend a school that has a health center, and many more have access to other types of school health services.

This is more than double the number a decade ago. Of the 246 SBHCs, 159 offer mental health care, 69 offer dental treatment, and 129 offer youth engagement programs that keep kids engaged in school and thinking about their future.

SBHCs are so popular because they offer convenient health care for kids in a setting families already know and trust.

Students who utilize SBHCs are less likely to go to the emergency room or be hospitalized, keeping costs down. SBHCs also improve attendance, reduce dropout rates, improve school climate, and support students’ academic achievement. Schools and school districts partner with health service providers to finance SBHCs.

More Information on California’s SBHCs

There are 246 SBHCs serving more than 265,000 students across California. SBHCs are usually located directly on a school campus and provide primary care like any health clinic. Staff vary in size, and typically includes nurse practitioners, nurses, mental health providers, as well as part-time physicians and medical students. Services are provided at no or low cost. No one is refused service for inability to pay.

Services Offered

Service Number Percentage
Medical 213
Health Education 175 71%
Mental Health
159 64%
Reproductive Health – Screening & Education
150 60%
Reproductive Health – Clinical Care 140 56%
Youth Engagement 129 52%
Dental Prevention 123
Dental Treatment


Sponsoring Org Types

Type of Sponsoring Organization Number Percentage
Community Clinic 137 57%
School District 65 27%
Local Health Department 11 5%
Hospital 9 4%
Nonprofit Organization 7 2%
Mental Health Agency 8 3%
Tribal Government 1 .5%
Other 4 1.5%


Onsite SBHC Location Level 

School Level Number Percentage
High School  120  49%
Elementary School  60  24%
Middle School  27  11%
Other (school-linked/mobile/combined levels)  39  16%