National Center for Youth Law

At the Center

NCYL Calls on California Governor Newsom to Fund School-Based Health Centers

As the COVID-19 crisis continues, many children and youth are experiencing gaps in access to routine health services, as well as new or worsening mental health issues. School closures have also revealed the significant role that schools play in meeting many students’ basic health needs – from meals to access to physical and behavioral health care. This is particularly true for already-vulnerable youth.

Preparing to address the health disparities magnified by this public health crisis should be a key component of the state’s response to the pandemic. As part of this, we must ensure school environments have the resources needed to support and prioritize children’s physical, mental, social, and emotional well-being. To that end, the National Center for Youth Law, in partnership with the California School-Based Health Alliance and GRACE/End Child Poverty, has requested that California Governor Gavin Newsom consider the following budget requests:

  • $10 million in one-time, emergency funding to stabilize and increase capacity at existing school-based health centers (SBHCs); and
  • $10 million in one-time, emergency funding to ensure that school environments are trauma-informed and responsive to the mental health needs of students.

While the challenges brought by COVID-19 loom large, California can act now to ensure that when students return to school and begin the process of recovering and re-engaging in classroom learning, school communities will have the necessary tools to help them learn and thrive.

To read our full letter to the Governor, click here.