Delaware Vote Tracker

HB 129 – Health Centers in High Needs Elementary Schools

House Bill 129 has been introduced by State Representative Kim Williams and will be heard in Committee this week. The bill requires high needs elementary charter and public schools to have school based health centers.

What are high needs elementary schools? What are health centers?

High needs elementary schools are defined as any elementary school in the top quartile of 3 or more in percentage of low-income students, percentage of English learners, percentage of students with disabilities, percentage of minority students, or having 90% of its students classified as low-income, English learners, or minority.

School based health centers (SBHCs) are essentially a health clinic in a school. DHSS says that SBHC In Delaware SBHCs are operated by a multi-disciplinary team of health professionals who use a holistic approach to address a broad range of health and health-related needs of students. Through primary prevention and early intervention, Delaware SBHCs provide the following services to various student populations by:

  • providing preventive care
  • detecting signs of emotional stress and psychosocial problems for counseling and/or referral
  • facilitating students’ use of health care systems by establishing links with primary health care providers
  • promoting on-going comprehensive health care for students of all ages
  • encouraging parent involvement in the health of their adolescents
  • working toward the improvement of the students’ knowledge of the importance of preventive health care
  • improving (responsible) decision-making about health matters
  • reducing risk-taking behaviors
  • developing health promoting behaviors
  • providing early detection of chronic conditions and early diagnosis and treatment of minor and acute illnesses and health problems.
  • diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases
  • limited reproductive health services
  • HIV testing and counseling

SBHCs are not a substitute for the student’s personal physician and/or medical home but rather, act as a source for referral to outside medical care and as points of contact for supportive, comprehensive health services.

All school-based health centers must receive written parental permission prior to providing medical, mental and nutritional health services to students. All patient records and center records are kept separately to insure confidentiality.

The state will pay the start-up costs for two high-needs elementary schools per year until each applicable school has a center. The schools in this act are identified by the number of low-income students, English language learners, minority students, or students with special needs. The bill goes a step further by committing to help any public high schools that still require a health center.

This Act also allows high needs elementary schools having pre-existing school-based health centers to apply for reimbursement of previously expended funds necessary to establish said health center. To the extent that there are any public high schools without a school-based health center upon the effective date of this Act, the State will fund start-up costs for a center at such a public high school.

House Bill 129 SponsorsYes VotesNo Votes
K.Williams, Baumbach, Bentz, Bolden, Brady, Lambert, Morrison
S.McBride, Lockman, Hansen, Poore, Sturgeon, Walsh
Current Status — House Administration 3/23/21

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