SED Seal

 

       THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234

 

 

September 2005

Available in PDF Format for Printing

TO: District Superintendents
  Superintendent of Schools
  Presidents of Boards of Education
  Directors of Special Education
  Superintendents of State-Operated and State-Supported Schools
  New York City Board of Education
  Principals of Public Schools
  Directors of Pupil Personnel Services
  Organizations, Parents and Individuals Concerned with Special Education
  Commissioner's Advisory Panel for Special Education Services
  SETRC Project Directors and Professional Development Specialists
  Regional School Support Centers
  Other State Agencies
FROM: James A. Kadamus
  Deputy Commissioner
  Elementary, Middle, Secondary and Continuing Education
   
  Rebecca H. Cort
  Deputy Commissioner
  Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities
   
SUBJECT: Health, Dental and Mental Health Clinics Located on School Property

            This memorandum is to announce new legislation that has the potential to significantly improve access to health services for preschool and school-age children by allowing health, dental and mental health clinics to be located on school property.   On August 4, 2005, Governor Pataki signed this Regents legislative priority bill as Chapter 513 of the Laws of 2005.  This bill became effective immediately.

Chapter 513 amended section 414 of Education Law to provide clear statutory authority for the use of school space for licensed school health or mental health clinics.  This bill clarifies that the cost of providing health, dental and mental health services would not be a charge upon the school district except as otherwise authorized by law, but may be paid out of any federal, State or local funds lawfully available for such purposes; prohibits the use of school district building aid to build space specifically for this purpose; requires that all health professionals providing health, dental or mental health services in such clinics to be licensed under Title VIII of Education Law, unless otherwise exempted by law, and to be authorized to provide services to the extent permitted under their respective practice acts; and protects the school district or board of cooperative educational services (BOCES) from liability by acts of negligence or misconduct by the clinic or the clinic's officers or employees.

School districts and BOCES are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunities this new legislation presents.  Health, dental and mental health clinics located on school property are expected to expand access to services, provide preventive medicine and help children stay in school while offering a convenient way for parents to ensure their children get quality physical and mental health attention.  It is well documented that children in good health and mental health perform better in school.  Some reported benefits from other states using school-based health clinics include the facilitation of the entry of new students into the classroom because new students are able to receive immunizations and/or physicals more quickly; lost school days due to health issues are minimized because students needing health care can visit the clinic and often return to classes the same day, reducing absenteeism; and health and mental health issues can be addressed in a more timely and collaborative manner because communication between education and clinic staff is facilitated.

 

A copy of Chapter 513 of the Laws of 2005 is attached and can be accessed at http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?bn=A08453&sh=t.  Questions regarding this legislation may be directed to:

 

Patricia Geary

Special Education Policy and Partnerships Unit

518-473-2878

 

Naomi Marsh

Student Support Services

518-486-6090

 

Carl Thurnau

Office of Facility Planning

518-474-3906.

 

Attachment - Chapter 513 of the Laws of 2005