Healthy Communities

School-Based Health Centers

Vision: Arkansas students will have quality, integrated school health services that improve health, optimize academic achievement and enhance well-being, allowing all students to reach their full potential. 

School-Based Health Centers (SBHC) provide basic physical, mental, dental or other services as needed. The health center provides services beyond the scope of the school nurse practice and is not intended to replace the school nurse. The school-based health center is required to maintain a working relationship with the physician of a child's medical home, to ensure that individual patient health plans are executed effectively and efficiently. Students can apply for ARKids and local resources connected to the health center for students and family convenience. The intent is for the center to act as a resource center for wellness and prevention. Typical characteristics of a SBHC are as follows:

*(courtesy of National Assembly on School-Based Health Care)

Arkansas' School-Based Health Center Grant Funding

The Arkansas School-Based Health Center Grant is a competitive application process made possible and supported by Arkansas' Governor Mike Beebe and the Arkansas Tobacco Excise Tax created by Arkansas Act 180 of 2009. The funds are to be used to promote health, wellness, and academic achievement in Arkansas' public schools. The program is a collaboration of the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH).

Eligible Applicants

All Arkansas public and charter schools are eligible to apply, unless the district is a current school-based health center funding recipient. Only one school-based health center per district may be funded by the DESE during a five year funding cycle.

Grant/Award Guidelines

Applicants intending to create a new health center on school campuses may apply for up to $150,000. The SBHC grant recipients will receive an annual distribution of funds for a five year period, with decreasing amounts each year. Annual renewal is based on a review of annual progress and appropriation of Tobacco Excise Tax funding.

Applicants should carefully read the guidelines for the grant. Grantees must adhere to the SBHC grant guidelines, the ARSBHC standards  and the Arkansas School Based Mental Health manual. See the National Center for Educational Facilities at for facility guidance.

Prerequisite of Funding

A full-time equivalent registered nurse employed by the school district (school nurse)

 The Arkansas School-Based Health Center Grant request for proposals is released by DESE via Commissioners’ Memo each January if funds are available.


For more information, please contact:

Arkansas Department of Health, School Health Services

Public Health Accrediation Board
Arkansas Department of Health
© 2017 Arkansas Department of Health. All Rights Reserved.
4815 W. Markham, Little Rock, AR 72205-3867