Senators Stabenow, Capito Announce Senate Passage of School-Based Health Centers Reauthorization Act

Bipartisan School-Based Health Centers Reauthorization Act passes Senate

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Washington D.C. – U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Ranking Member of the Health Subcommittee of the Senate Finance Committee, and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) today announced the passage of their bipartisan School-Based Health Centers Reauthorization Act which will reauthorize funding for school-based health centers through 2026. In Michigan, there are more than 210 school-based health centers that play a crucial role in providing basic health services for thousands of students who have limited access to medical care outside of school. School-based health centers provide a combination of primary care, mental health care, substance abuse counseling, case management, dental health, nutrition education, health education and health promotion activities. 


“School-based health centers play an important role in providing care to so many children who don’t have access to a family doctor,” said Senator Stabenow. “They are also meeting a critical need for mental health services for children impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Today, the Senate has acted to support these health centers that are a crucial part of our health care system.”


“Children across West Virginia rely on the primary care, mental health services, health education, and drug addiction prevention counseling available within many of our schools. This makes it crucial that our school-based health centers receive our full support,” said Senator Capito. “The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the important role our school services play in the development of our young people. I’m thankful that our legislation was included in the year-end package and that many of our school-based health centers will be eligible to receive this vital assistance through 2026.”


School-based health centers have continued to provide services to their patients throughout the COVID-19 crisis, with more than half of the centers offering telehealth services. Throughout the pandemic, school-based health centers have seen a 73% increase in the use of vital mental health services by children and adolescents.


Senator Stabenow is a longtime champion for School-Based Health Centers, creating the School-Based Health Center Capital Program as part of the Affordable Care Act to help centers access critical funding for construction, renovation and equipment needs. The Health Resources and Services Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, oversees the School-Based Health Center Capital Program.