DAVENPORT, IOWA (March 1, 2019) — Schools serve as a critical partner in ensuring students are healthy and ready to learn. If a student has potential barriers to effective learning, it is important to quickly link them to resources that can help them succeed. Four health screenings — immunizations, dental, vision and blood lead —play a key role in that process.
However, a bill that passed the Senate Education Committee this week eliminates the requirement that schools make sure students have had these screenings; and that schools provide information and access to complete the screenings, if the child has not had them yet.
Much of the feedback I have received on SSB 1190 tells me that Iowans are worried about the negative impact of this bill, especially in our small towns and rural area where there is already a shortage of health care services.
This legislation emerged from a work group tasked with recommending ways to reduce administrative burdens of student health screenings on schools. The work group included school boards members, child health advocates and representatives from the Iowa Department of Public Health, who supported the group’s consensus recommendations released in a report on December 27. Those recommendations did not include getting rid of reports on health screenings.
Cutting schools out of the information loop on critical health screenings is a bad idea.
This is a legislative update by State Senator Jim Lykam, representing Davenport and Buffalo. For bio, photos and further information, go towww.senate.iowa.gov/senator/lykam.
To contact Senator Lykam when the Legislature is in session, call the Senate Switchboard at (515) 281-3371. Otherwise he can be reached at (563) 391-1919. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Senator Lykam serves on the following committees: