New Guidance Highlights High Impact Opportunities to Support Healthy Students

U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services have released a joint letter and toolkit addressing critical link between health and education to governors, chief state school officers, state health officials and state Medicaid directors, which recognize the critical role that healthcare coverage and health services play in ensuring all students are ready and able to learn, and recommend action steps to better coordinate health and education services for all students and their families. ED and HHS have also released a new toolkit that details five high impact opportunities for states and local school districts to support stronger communities through collaboration education and health sectors, highlighting best practices and key research in both areas. The letter calls on state and local educational agencies to increase access to health insurance and healthcare, and encourages creating school environments with the physical and mental health supports to help students succeed academically and lead healthier lives.  Research strongly suggests that when young people receive necessary and preventive health care and have health insurance, their academic, health, and other important life outcomes improve. For example, one recent study found that children who gained access to Medicaid as a result of expanded coverage miss fewer school days due to illness or injury and are more likely to do better in school, finish high school, graduate from college and earn more as adults.

“Healthy students are better learners and better positioned to thrive in school and later in life,” said Acting Secretary John King. “The opportunities we highlight in our new toolkit are happening already in some schools, but we need more action. Our hope is this call to action is a new day for collaboration. We need more schools, more districts and more states to take advantage of existing channels and opportunities to create healthy opportunities for their students.”

The letter and toolkit are available at

For additional enrollment information visit

See the complete HHS press release at