FLEMINGTON—After months of discussion, the Taylor County Board of Education came to a decision about the fate of School Based Health Centers in Taylor County Schools.
At Tuesday’s meeting, it was determined that the memorandum of understanding signed with the Grafton Taylor County Health Department in April of 2018 would no longer be in effect with Taylor County Schools.
According to Superintendent Christy Miller, the zero-cost option was no longer viable as presented.
In August, the Grafton-Taylor County Health Department held a roundtable where they shared that they were financially unable to continue unless additional funding was secured.
Miller stated that there were many ideas generated with one referencing the additional funding coming to the school system through House Bill 206.
She explained however, what was not understood about this funding, was that it was earmarked to cover certain expenditures now and throughout the year.
Throughout the discussions, the board remained committed to the project at the original zero cost that was presented to them in 2018.
Miller reported that the varying figures presented throughout the time period from August through November did not present a clear picture to determine if the program could continue without additional funds being requested year to year.
According to Miller, the Health Department did receive a grant to provide behavioral services, which would have provided a missing piece when the social worker left the program last year.
“The school system was able to fund two additional counselors so that all schools have a full time professional available to our students,” commented Miller. “In addition, it permitted us to cover others that were funded from county funds to stabilize those positions to continue supporting our staff and students.”
The board continued to discuss options and met twice with other community stakeholders, but no additional funding could be generated.
Miller informed that throughout the discussions several entities came together to begin working on a solution, but in the end, financially could not commit the dollars necessary to sustain the program.
During discussions, she reported that the Taylor County Commission was willing to put in an additional $25,000 to keep the centers going if the other $50,000 could be raised.
“We are hopeful a solution will be in place for next year through another provider so we can continue to meet the social, emotional, academic and over all wellbeing of our students and staff,” voiced Miller.
She expressed that the Taylor County Board of Education wants to thank Diana Boyle and Era Ford for their dedication and outstanding service to the students and staff of Taylor County Schools.
“We also would like to thank the Grafton Taylor County Health Department for implementing this program and wish them the best as they continue to meet the healthcare needs of the citizens of Taylor County,” she added.
Miller reported that the School Based Health Clinics will not operating past November 15, 2019 and that the Grafton-Taylor County Health Department made that decision.
“The board is committed to finding a replacement for this program,” she voiced.