Sacramento, CA – Today, Assemblymember Chris Holden’s legislation, AB 285 that creates a State School Nurse Consultant within the Department of Education passed the Assembly Education Committee. The purpose of the State School Nurse Consultant would be to oversee school nurses and supervisors of health, and to advise the State Superintendent on student health issues.
“Keeping students, faculty, and staff safe at schools during this on ongoing pandemic takes a lot of expertise, communication, and coordination between different agencies at different levels of government,” said Assemblymember Chris Holden. “A State School Nurse Position will help keep our children healthy and safe beyond the current pandemic.”
A school nurse at the Department of Education will lend strong insight into how schools operate safely during this pandemic. Outside of infectious disease events like the current Pandemic, there are additional public health issues that impact schools that would benefit from this new position. Health issues like mental health, diabetes, nutrition, vision, physical activity, safety are all issues that schools are trying to address. A School Nurse Consultant will provide guidance and insight to schools so our students can thrive in and outside of the classroom.
Currently, there is no school nurse to address health issues in the Department of Education. New laws and mandates are placed on schools to address health issues like administering medications, vision tests, and EpiPens, but there is no position at the California Department of Education to advise school districts on the implementation of those laws. AB 285 aims to enhance a public health perspective at the Department of Education, which will better-serve California students.
“AB 285 is a solution we always needed, but is now more urgent than ever in the face of the COVID-19 Pandemic,” continued Holden.