Anne Coyle, CCSD Nursing Supervisor, met with U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson in Washington this week. Coyle was there with Senator Isakson, Republican representative for Georgia, to discuss the 3 legislative priorities of the National Association of School Nurses (NASN). Coyle is the State Director for Georgia on the NASN Board of Directors.
The NASN’s top 3 priorities are:
1.) to support a demonstration grant program to fund School Nurses based on Title I designation (free and reduced lunch and breakfast). Grants will be “paid for” through the Prevention Fund under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Members of Congress are urged to ensure that all children have access to a School Nurse,
2) As the Congress begins to work on the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), NASN requests the inclusion of Specialized Instructional Support Personnel (SISP) throughout legislative language. As essential members of Specialized Instructional Support Personnel, school nurses provide a critical link to school success for many students. Members of Congress are urged to enact comprehensive legislation, which includes SISP and the importance of prevention and intervention services for students, and
3) NASN supports the reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) which provides vital health insurance for children. CHIP finances quality health coverage for more than eight million children in families with incomes too high to qualify for Medicaid but too low to afford private health coverage. Members of Congress are urged to introduce legislation to extend CHIP funding until 2019.
Coyle says Senator Isakson told her Georgia schools receive >90% of their funds from the state. The Prevention Funds mentioned in the priority are CDC/US Health and Human Services funds. Isakson told Coyle that he believes the 2nd and 3rd priorities would be reauthorized. He sits on both health committees for Congress.
Coyle talked Cobb Schools with Isakson, too. He told her that when his children went to school at Sope Creek Elementary, there were parents who volunteered to sit in the clinic one day at a time. The visit also gave her an opportunity to update him on School Health Services in the Cobb County School District since inception in 2000.