With sparse state funding, California districts get creative in addressing student health

As pressures grow on schools to address students’ physical and mental health, including the stress and trauma they may experience in their homes and neighborhoods, many California educators are acknowledging that they don’t have the resources they need to respond appropriately.

California now ranks 39th nationwide in its school nurse-to-student ratio and its ratio of counselors to students is last, according to research by Columbia University economics professor Randall Reback that was published as part of the Getting Down to Facts II report series released in September.

 Reback found that less than half of California’s public-school students have regular access to physical health care — such as a full-time school nurse or an on-site health clinic — in their schools, and less than half of California’s elementary school students have access to mental health care in their schools.