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Senate Committee Sidelines School Nurse Legislation


Lawmakers are in Richmond trying to figure out how to navigate their way through the pandemic.

One proposal to put a nurse in every school is now sidelined.

Every school building needs a nurse, or at least a licensed professional. That was the goal of a bill introduced by Republican Senator Jen Kiggans of Virginia Beach. 

“They are people who can help with assessments and testing, making sure PPE is in place and making sure everyone is following protocols and guidelines. So they’re essential team members in getting our kids back to school safety during this pandemic,” Kiggans argued.

But a Senate panel rejected the idea Wednesday. Here’s

“This would be sort of shuffling resources around the state and it would benefit jurisdictions with small schools and disadvantage those with large schools," said Senator Janet Howell, a Democrat from Fairfax County who’s chairwoman of the Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee.

The cost to Fairfax County to have a nurse at each and every one of its buildings would be significantly more than the cost to smaller school divisions with a handful of buildings. The bill was set aside indefinitely.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria.