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Federal Policy and Advocacy

The School-Based Health Alliance is the leading voice for advancing federal policies and funding that support school-based health centers. We also support the school-based health care field to advance policies at the state and local levels.

The United States Capitol seen at the end of Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C.

Aim is to expand, show impact, promote sustainability

More than 6 million children and adolescents across 49 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico have access to an SBHC. While these numbers reflect consistent growth of school-based health centers for more than 25 years, only a fraction of children and adolescents in need of these critical services are able to access an SBHC. 

SBHCs provide an optimal setting to improve health outcomes while fostering learning readiness and academic achievement, and evidence shows that healthy kids learn better. Policy reforms are underway in the health care delivery and education sectors. Through advocacy and partnerships, we aim to create opportunities to:

  • expand innovative models.
  • demonstrate the impact of SBHCs on the health care and education sectors.
  • maximize reimbursement to promote fiscal sustainability.

Our Policy Priorities

The School-Based Health Alliance advocates for policies at the federal level that sustain and grow SBHCs, and also provides support to the school-based health care field to advance policies at the state and local levels.

Federal support for high-quality comprehensive health care and mental health services to students at SBHCs across the country. 

Collaboration between health and education sectors to maximize resources, break down silos and remove policy and funding barriers to support student health.

Resources and initiatives to increase the workforce of trained, licensed, and certified school health professionals in order to meet the growing need for student health services.

Robust funding and expanded flexibility for states within Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Expanding federal Community Health Center funding for the nation’s health care safety net, on which millions of low-income children and families rely for medical, behavioral, and oral health care. More than half of SBHCs across the nation are sponsored by a federally qualified health center (FQHC).