School Nurses Funded in New Fed. Ed. Bill
HR 1 - the Better Education for Students and Teachers Act of 2001 -was cleared for the President's signature this week. Bush is expected to sign the bill into law at the beginning of 2002. This, the most sweeping reform of Education law since the
inception of the Department of Education, contains a little-publicized provision that would allow local school districts to use Federal funds to hire and support school nurses.
Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) - one of the three nurses in Congress, championed the school nurse provision. It is her intention to help place a nurse in every school in the nation. This provision is contained in a section dealing with parental choice and innovative programs - which is authorized at a total of $450 million for 2002.
School nurses are only one of a long-list of approved uses for these funds - including programs to recruit and train teachers, acquisition of instructional materials and technology, disadvantaged student programs, magnet schools
, charter schools, etc. Therefore it is far from certain that Rep. McCarthy's hopes will be realized.
Source: ANA Lobby Net ListServ