1.27.24 – Lumen News

“CMS Announces $50 Million in Grants to States Willing to Expand Medicaid for School-Based Health Centers” 

By Susan Berry, Ph.D.

Excerpts from this article:  


The Biden administration’s plan to further entrench the federal government in the lives of children and their families was revealed Wednesday via an announcement by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) of $50 million in grants to states that promise to “implement, enhance, and expand” school-based health centers (SBHCs) through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Currently, there are about 
3,900 SBHCs in the United States. 

The Biden administration argues that its efforts to turn more public schools into medical clinics will support the child mental health crisis in the nation.

“We write today to share a new funding opportunity for states to help tackle the mental health crisis we’re facing and expand access to health care services, including mental health services, directly in schools,” wrote Xavier Becerra, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and Miguel Cardona, secretary of the Education Department (USED), in a joint 
letter to governors…

Becerra [Sect. of Department of Health and Human Services -- HHS] and Cardona [Sect. of Education Department – USED] urged the governors to apply for the grants:

“As governor, you have an opportunity to increase Medicaid funding to your state for health care services provided in your schools. 

Moreover, students are often more likely to receive care when schools offer services on-site or have referral systems in place to link students to community- based sources of health care.

Under your direction, your state’s Medicaid agency and state educational agency (SEA) can work together to amend your state Medicaid plan, improve and increase Medicaid reimbursement for services provided in schools, and take advantage of this new funding opportunity.”



Parents who battled the Common Core State Standards during the Obama era will notice the similar language – that of federal officials attempting to lure state governors into accepting cash in exchange for something they want – usually more control over another part of American life. 

Common Core was introduced in a competitive grant program called
 Race to the Top, and states could apply for the federal grant money as long as they adopted the Common Core standards and its aligned testing.

Common Core was promoted as a school reform that promised to shrink the achievement gap between students from upper and middle-income families and others who were struggling – mostly from black and Hispanic families. 

That goal was
 never achieved, and many states still use the Common Core standards, though they may continue under another name.



Lumen-News reported in June 2023, the Biden administration’s “comprehensive guide” to delivering services in SBHCs describes what is offered to students in government schools:

“The school setting provides a unique opportunity to deliver health care services to children and adolescents, especially those enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). School-based services (SBS), including but not limited to preventive care, mental health and substance use disorder (SUD) services, physical and occupational therapy, and disease management have been shown to improve both health and academic outcomes.”

The key phrase in the above description is
“including but not limited to.”



As reported in July, Parents Defending Education (PDE) 
obtained documents revealing that SBHCs in Seattle are offering students so-called “gender-affirming care” – including cross-sex hormones and referrals for transgender surgery – as part of the medical services provided at school.

 video below is courtesy of PDE, and features its Founder and President Nicole Neily appearing on Fox News Channel’s The Ingraham Angle

Note host Laura Ingraham’s discussion of what her producer found upon investigating one of the Seattle SBHC’s registration forms:

PDE noted, per our June report, that while Seattle Public Schools’ SBHCs are offering “gender-affirming care,” the school district also implements a
 policy that states a student’s gender identity may remain hidden from parents.

“[S]taff should not disclose a student’s transgender or gender X status to others unless (1) legally required to do so or (2) the student has authorized disclosure," the policy reported by PDE states.

"It's bad enough that medical professionals are prescribing cross-sex hormones and cutting off breasts and genitals of minors,” said Erika Sanzi, PDE director of outreach, in a statement at the time. “It is a whole new level of awful and terrifying for schools to be involved."

The Massachusetts Family Institute (MFI) expressed its concern about the SBHCs in the Bay State. In March 2023,
MFI cautioned, “parents, beware of school-based health centers”:

rules governing SBHCs in MA state that they must provide a comprehensive range of services that include ‘reproductive health services’ such as gynecological exams, diagnosis, and treatment of STIs, family planning health education and services (code for birth control and abortion), and more. 

The same is true for mental health services as well. Students are referred ‘to a continuum of mental health services,’  including prescription drugs. 

The rules also state that for services not provided on-site, SBHCs must arrange for the provision of such services off-site. This means an SBHC staff member may drive a student off campus to receive risky medical treatments during the school day and their parents may never know.”



The Common Core standards initiative was a public-private endeavor that saw the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation providing the lion’s share of private funding.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, then, School-Based Health Alliance (SBHA), a self-described “national voice for school-based health care,
 announced January 2 that Melinda French Gates, through her Pivotal Venture company, and MacKenzie Scott, ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, have invested a combined $23 million to promote SBHCs.

As the 
Houston Chronicle reported, the billionaires’ investments of $16 million from the Gates company and $7 million from Scott comes with the stated goal of fixing health care “disparities” for low-income families. The claim is that students who receive health care services at school will have improved educational outcomes.

As a result of the billionaires’ investment, SBHA will launch SBHC initiatives in Houston, Atlanta, Chicago and Miami.



When we first reported on the Biden administration’s plan to expand Medicaid through grants to SBHCs, Jane Orient, M.D., executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), told Lumen-News the “agenda for school-based clinics is clear in the agenda for mandatory sex education”:

“They will include contraception, promotion of all forms of sexual activity, disrespect for traditional morality, and of course abortion referral and treatment of STDs when natural consequences occur. Schools are already pushing vaccines without parental consent or knowledge. 

The use of the term ‘stakeholder’ is revealing. The children are a piece of property. But if children suffer harm, the parents will be totally responsible – emotionally and financially.”

While some may be easily convinced of the “convenience” of having medical and mental health services provided in schools, Sanzi warned SBHCs are not just a trip down the hall to the school nurse.

"It's obvious that these school-based health centers have gone far beyond the convenient strep test and have moved into areas that raise potential red flags,”
she said in a comment to Lumen-News in July. 

“Will children be seen and treated without parental consent?” 

“Communities need to drill down on these questions and parents need to stay vigilant."


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