Every year we work with legislators and advocates to pass bills that support our mission of ensuring that students are healthy and ready to learn. Our legislative priorities include:
- Funding for SBHCs in the state budget;
- Increased resources for school-based behavioral health;
- Access to health care and coverage for the uninsured;
- Prioritizing prevention, wellness, and school attendance in education and health care policy;
- Access to contraceptive services and reproductive health care; and
- Investing in new payment models that can be sustainable sources of funding for school-based health services and prevention.
Funding for SBHCs in the State and Federal Budgets
Students’ need for services far outstrips SBHCs’ resources. We are working in Sacramento and Washington DC to secure budget appropriations for existing but unfunded programs to pay for SBHC operations.
- The Public School Health Center Support Program was created by AB 2560 (Ridley-Thomas) in 2006 and SB 564 (Ridley-Thomas) in 2008. These bills created a state office and grant program for SBHCs but have never been funded. We continue to seek funding for this program.
- The School-Based Health Centers Reauthorization Act (H.R. 2075), introduced by Representative John Sarbanes (D-Maryland), extends existing federal support to sustain the operations at the growing number of school based health centers (SBHCs) nationwide, many of which are here in California. With our national organization, the School-Based Health Alliance, we are urging California Representatives to show their support for SBHCs and sign-on as cosponsors.