School-based Mental Health Services: What California’s School District Leaders Should Know about Mental Health Funding and 2011 Realignment

Through the 2011 Realignment, California permanently shifted responsibility for administration and financing of most services for vulnerable children and youth to counties — including mental health services provided via EPSDT (Early and Periodic, Diagnosis, Screening and Treatment — Medi-Cal for enrollees under 21 years of age). EPSDT Realignment provides increased funding, as well as significantly greater decision-making power and flexibility for counties in their use of these funds. This paper (in draft) gives an overview of EPSDT and Realignment so that school district leaders have the basic information they need to reach out to county leadership to partner around building more comprehensive mental health service systems — systems in which schools play their critical role in increasing both access and effectiveness. The authors are looking for feedback.

City and School District Aimed at Supporting Students, Families and Communities

Earlier this year, the City of San Pablo agreed to provide $60,000 in matching funds for WCCUSD to hire two community school coordinators and one case manager for schools in that city. The agreement makes San Pablo to first city in West Contra Costa County to dedicate funding and staff to implement the school district’s Full Services Community School (FSCS) initiative aimed at achieving better academic and health outcomes for youth and families by better coordinating and aligning partnerships and resources to meet the comprehensive needs of students.