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Twenty Years Of School-Based Health Care Growth And Expansion

May 2019

Hayley E. Love, John Schlitt, Samira Soleimanpour, Nirmita Panchal, Caroline Behr


This article addresses how youth in impoverished communities suffer from greater prevalence of certain mental and physical health challenges, while also lacking access to regular healthcare. School-based health centers (SBHCs) are created to help close this gap in care by providing healthcare to students (and sometimes others in the community) during and after school, including , often, during the summer. The use of SBHCs is associated with greater health outcomes and greater student achievement. Racial and ethnic minority students especially benefit from access to SBHCs. More research does need to be done on the quality of care that these centers provide.

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Policy Implications

SBHCs are funded both federally and on the state level. The study suggests that more federal funding should be given, especially given the majority of schools without access to SBHCs were eligible for Title I funding. However, most SBHCs were found in places that receive state funding, and this funding has gone down in recent years. Regardless of which level of government funds these centers, this article presents that the investment may be worth it in order to improve the health and academic performance of students.

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