Thursday, March 27, 2008

School health centers take priority over education at some MCPS schools

Today's Examiner reports that some Montgomery County schools, such as Summit Hall Elementary in Gaithersburg, are having to put students in trailers in order to make space for medical clinics that serve low-income families.
WASHINGTON (Map, News) - Montgomery leaders are spending millions to construct health care centers inside schools for children from low-income families, upsetting some residents who are frustrated that space is made for the facilities while classes meet in portable trailers outside.

In July, Summit Hall Elementary School in Gaithersburg will debut the county’s fifth school-based health and wellness center, which cost $1.6 million to construct and will cost about $300,000 a year to operate.

“Many young families don’t have easy access to transportation,” said Judy Covich, director of school health services for Montgomery’s Health and Human Services department. “When parents don’t have to take off from work to take a child to the doctor, there is a real advantage.”

But some people who’ve worked in Summit Hall have expressed frustration the county is building an addition to house a health center, but the school has five portable trailers for classes and the school system as a whole has 470 relocatable classrooms.

“My feelings are that schools are for education,” said an educator who asked that her name not be used for job security concerns. “Before you start a health center, get kids in classrooms inside the building.”

See the Examiner article for the full story.


Post a Comment

<< Home