• Contact Us

    Texas School Health Program
    PO Box 149347, MC 1945
    Austin, TX 78714-9347
    1100 West 49th Street
    Austin, Texas 78756

    Phone: 512-776-7279
    Fax: 512-776-7555


    Email comments or questions to SchoolHealth@dshs.texas.gov

SBHC History and DSHS Program

⇐ Return to School-Based Health Centers  

School-Based Health Center History

School-based health centers started in the 1970s with the first centers opening in Dallas, Texas and St. Paul, Minnesota. According to the 2016-17 SBHC census report (School-Based Health Alliance Census);  2,584 SBHCs were identified in 48 of 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The 2016-17 National School-Based Health Care Census [pdf] collected information on SBHC locations, staffing, services provided, populations served, telehealth services, and funding.

State funding has been a leading factor in the growth of school-based health centers, primarily through state general funds and the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant under Title V of the Social Security Act. States also have used other resources such as tobacco taxes and tobacco settlement dollars to fund school-based health centers.

The School-Based Health Alliance has more information on school-based health centers in the United States. 

School-Based Health Centers in Texas

Today, there are almost 90 school-based health centers serving the children of Texas as reported by the Texas Association of School-Based Health Centers. Most of these centers are located in a permanent facility on a school campus. The centers all offer primary care. Other services vary by location and may include oral health, mental health, nutrition counseling, prevention, asthma management, as well as other services.  

DSHS Involvement in SBHCs

The Texas Department of State Health Services' (DSHS) role  is to provide funding, as available, and offer technical assistance to Texas school-based health centers. Similarly to SBHCs across the nation, school-based health centers in Texas are funded through multiple sources including state and/or federal funds, private foundation, and third-party revenues.

DSHS funding opportunities are expected to be posted on an annual basis, but are contingent upon availability. Recently, funding has shifted from supporting the establishment of new SBHCs to the expansion of services within existing centers. Funds for expanding services are expected to have a 12-month budget period with 4 one-year renewal periods available at the sole discretion of DSHS. Funding may vary and is subject to change. When available, current SBHC funding opportunities can be found on the Contracting with HHS site with other DSHS funding opportunities. 

School-Based Health Center Reports

Each biennium DSHS creates a report of DSHS-funded centers during the previous two years. It is submitted to the legislature in compliance with Texas Education Code, Section 38.064. The report gives insight into general operations, populations served and services provided with an increasing focus on student outcome measures. 

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External links to other sites are intended to be informational and do not have the endorsement of the Texas Department of State Health Services. These sites may not be accessible to people with disabilities.  

Last updated July 16, 2021