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Update on Changes to School Health / Nurse Program

Follow up on this with good news.

Yesterday, Councilmember David Grosso (At-Large, Chair of Education Committee) introduced emergency legislation to require “any school receiving school nurse services above 20 hours per week to continue at the existing level of services for the remainder of the school year 2016-17.” That means school nurse allocations can’t be cut starting in January with the implementation of the new Department of Health (DOH) School Health Services plan.

Here’s a link to Councilmember Grosso announcing the emergency bill:

At this Tuesday’s Roundtable, there were many, many witnesses speaking out against reductions in school nurse allocations — and speaking up for the value of school nurses. Beth Bacon testified as an SWS parent — and as a CHPSPO/Ward 6 rep, and Sandra Moscoso will submit written testimony with the responses from seven Ward 6 schools on our quick survey. If you would like to add your responses, please answer the 3 questions by 10/31/16.

The hearing lasted 5+ hours – with Councilmember Grosso questioning DOH Director, Dr. Nesbitt, for few hours at the end. Lots of details in the new DOH plan — and Councilmembers Gross and Allen (Ward 6) were adamant about the lack of public engagement and clear explanations on these changes. Note that DOH is transitioning from a nursing contract (which goes through DC Council for review) to a grant program (which doesn’t) — which means that advocacy and monitoring on the part of parents and advocates is not done!

Thanks to everyone who had a hand in this!

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