New York City Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott has announced a plan to establish an additional 20 health and mental-health centers at middle and high schools over the next three years.
Testifying before a city council committee, Walcott proposed that the school system spend $30 million from the capital budget to build the health centers. Once the space is available, the city would seek grants and outside providers to operate the clinics.
"These new centers will provide on-site primary care and mental health services, helping to keep our kids healthy, secure and in school," Walcott testified. "… We will immediately begin work with school administrators, parents, city and state health agencies and health providers to identify school buildings where we have interest, need and space."
Walcott added that he would encourage the healthcare providers to offer services to students on the campus where the centers are situated as well as students in nearby campuses.
The city already has 126 school-based health centers serving more than 150,000 students, Walcott says.