HB 2626A/SB 336A Lottery bonds to fund school-based health facilities

HB 2626A – SB 336A VOTE: NO
Referred to Ways and Means
 

HB 2626A & SB 336A – Referred to Ways and Means with Do Pass

Authorizes State Treasurer to issue lottery bonds to finance grants to school districts to pay for acquisition, construction or improvement of school-based health centers. HB 2626A asks for $4 million and SB 336A asks for $1,949,000.

School-based health centers are legislated to serve low income children without charge then using a sliding scale for payments. The center’s professional only has to be a medical student or nurse to give limited care.  An amount that doesn’t warrant a facility.  We already witness schools demanding medication for confused students over common core without medical diagnoses.

Borrowing from future education lottery funds to expand schools to include a health-based clinic facility where one central clinic can service multiple schools is not prudent spending. Funding to have a health-based facility on school property stifles more efficient options that would serve multiple schools and the community. Once the facility is obtained, no mention of where the funds will come from to staff and operate that facility. We also know that repayment of bonds doubles the obligation for taxpayers and spreads the cost of local districts across the state.

ORS 413.225 provides for "Community health centers" to include school-based health services. It was purported to a part of the community and merely allowed the option to be located in a school that had the facilities to accommodate the community still organized by the community and health providers.  It was never divulged to parents that ORS 413.225 would evolve into school-based health centers being a part of every school and integrated with a student’s education.

The expense of a school-based health center in a school does not replace the need for a community health center with licensed physicians.  This duplication of facilities or in most district multiple satellite centers in schools is government interference in private medical needs beyond necessary that unnecessarily increases the cost to taxpayers. It limits local control giving authority to the Oregon Health Authority. State health care of students is beyond the purview of the school district whose job is to educate children.