School Health Clinics Slowed by Lack of State Funding
An increasing number of school districts are using school-based health clinics to provide students with access to medical care and reduce sick days, but a lack of funding is hampering expansion, the Fresno Bee reports.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) in 2006 called for 500 more health centers to link to elementary schools. However, unlike many states, California does not have a dedicated funding source for school-based health centers.
Serena Clayton, executive director of the California School Health Centers Association, said that 150 centers operate statewide, and dozens more are being planned.
The lack of funding is hindering efforts to open more centers, Clayton said, adding that officials are hesitant to take money away from classroom programs to spend on health clinics.
The Clovis Unified School District anticipates spending $211,884 this year to operate its three centers at elementary schools in Pinedale, Fancher Creek and Tarpey. Annamarie Brown, a nurse practitioner at one of the Clovis centers, said the clinics provide a safety net for the uninsured and underinsured.
The district provides $58,884 of the funding, and the remainder comes from insurance reimbursements, grants and service fees (Dudley Ellis, Fresno Bee, 11/11).