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House Bill 524 — Telehealth, behavioral, schools

House Bill 524 — Telehealth, behavioral, schools

Ronald M. Nate, Ph.D.
February 16, 2024

Bill Description: House Bill 524 would allow for telehealth behavioral health services on public school premises.

Rating: -1

Does the bill allow schools to be more flexible, improve feedback mechanisms, and decentralize decisions to the family or individual level? Conversely, does the bill add to the existing education bureaucracy?

House Bill 524 provides for schools to include accommodations for telehealth behavioral health services on their premises. These services, provided either by public schools or made possible on public school campuses or buildings, go beyond the schools’ constitutional mandate: “The stability of a republican form of government depending mainly upon the intelligence of the people, it shall be the duty of the legislature of Idaho, to establish and maintain a general, uniform and thorough system of public, free common schools.”

The point of Idaho public schools is to provide education, not to provide health care, mental care, or other non-education services. To the extent that public schools engage in and accommodate for those services, they expand the education bureaucracy beyond its mandated mission and lead to inefficiencies, as schools become health care centers in addition to trying to provide good education.


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