30 Seconds for $30 Million

by SKHC Editor on February 24, 2009

The current economy and budget proposals are not going to slow the Georgia Association of School Nurses (GASN) and supporters down. Instead of waiting for the governor’s budget proposal cut of $30 million in state funds for school and nursing services in Georgia the group has gotten a petition together and is in dire need of your support.

“Presently, we really need parents to go to our Web site [http://www.gasn.org/home/] and sign the nurse petition to have the funds reinstated,” said Jeannie Edwards, director of the Georgia Association of School Nurses.

The online petition only takes about 30 seconds to fill out.

Legislators will not make a final decision on funding until June. If this budget cut is approved it will essentially eliminate the program.

“Without the $30 million, we will most likely lose many school nurse positions [statewide],” said Edwards, a nurse for 18 years in the Dawson County school system.

Edwards noted that Dawson County receives about $75,000 in state funding for school nurses, only a fraction of what’s actually needed to keep the program funded. To cover the gap local organizations such as Northside Hospital, Big Canoe and United Way have been supportive. Across the state, school systems have had to depend on local governments and community organizations to pick up the pieces. However, with the economic decline, these sources can only provide so much.

The needs of children dictate the direction of the school nurse program. The days of needing a bandage or temperature taken haven’t disappeared but now there is diabetic assessment, feeding tubes and catheterizations, administering daily prescriptions, asthma, seizures, heart disorders and life-threatening allergies. These special health care needs may require attention several times a day.        

“The $30 million should be reinstated for the school nurse program because the local governments cannot absorb any more, they are already supporting 80 percent of the program,” Edwards said.

Will you give 30 seconds of your time?

Source: DawsonNews.com

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