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Relating to the establishment of school-based behavioral health centers by school districts and a grant program administered by the executive commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission for the operation of those centers.
Estimated Two-year Net Impact to General Revenue Related Funds for HB 1335, Committee
Report 1st House, Substituted: a negative impact of ($6,941,857) through the biennium ending
August 31, 2021.
HB 1335 would allow a public school district to establish school-based behavioral health center to: (1) provide accessible behavioral health services to students and their families; (2) improve the emotional well-being and academic performance of medically underserved students and their families; and (3) integrate behavioral health services in the school environment. A school-based behavioral health center must be located at or near a district facility, be organized with community assistance, provide behavioral health services during school hours, and be administered by an entity belonging to one of the categories of community-based organizations specified by the bill (including open-enrollment charter schools).
Consent of the parent or guardian would be required in order for the student to receive services, which include mental health assessments, crisis interventions, counseling, and referrals to a continuum of mental health services.
Finally, the executive commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) would be required to administer a grant program to assist districts with the costs of operating school-based behavioral health centers. Grant awards would only be able to be used for paying health care provider salaries, as well as costs related to managing the center's programs.
Texas Action opposes HB 1335 which would create an expensive new taxpayer-funded school-based behavioral health program. This increases the size and cost of government. Additionally, schools should focus on educating students not providing behavioral health services. For these reasons we oppose HB 1335.