Friday, January 17, 2014

CPR Bill II? – This Time It Is Diabetes

There was no bill from last year’s session that I received more calls regarding than the CPR bills (Senator Stuart’s SB 986 and Delegate Dudenhefer’s HB 2028).  Although VEA tried unsuccessfully to amend these bills last session, and although I wrote about the bills on this blog last year, members were angry with me that the bills passed.   They were upset regarding the training requirements, the fact that many of them had to pay for the training, and the fact that every year more is put on the plate of the teacher.  One member told me, “It was EpiPens last year, now it’s defibrillators!  What will it be next?  Well, we have the answer.
The “next” is that you may be required by the parent of one of your students to be a “delegated care aide” to a diabetic student if Senator Stuart’s SB 532 and Delegate Cole’s HB 134 pass.  Even if you are not designated by a parent to be the aide, you will have to have training.
The bills are very similar, and here is the summary of SB 532 from Legislative Services:
Care of students who have been diagnosed with diabetes. Requires the parents of any public school student who has been diagnosed with diabetes to designate in a diabetes care plan a delegated care aide to provide diabetes care for the student, including the administration of insulin and glucagon, when a school nurse or physician is not present in the school or at a school-sponsored activity. The bill also requires the delegated care aide to receive training in diabetes care and every school employee to receive basic training in responses to emergency situations and changes from one to two the minimum number of employees in a school that must be trained with regard to a student with diabetes who attends the school. The bill further allows a student to perform certain tasks in the management of his diabetes. The bill requires schools at which a student diagnosed with diabetes is in attendance, to possess an emergency supply of glucagon in addition to any glucagon provided to the school by the parent of such a student. The bill provides that no school board shall prohibit a student who has been diagnosed with diabetes from attending a school or a school-sponsored activity on the basis of his diabetes. Finally, the bill prohibits a school nurse or delegated care aide from being disciplined for ordinary negligence in acts or omissions made during the care of a student who has been diagnosed with diabetes. The bill contains technical amendments.
Should the parent designate who the “delegated care aide” should be?  Who is going to pay for the training?  Isn’t this an unfunded mandate?  Suppose you don’t want to be designated?    
With great sympathy for diabetic children, it seems that there has got to be a better way to skin this cat.  Why shouldn’t the state help fund the health care professionals we need to provide these services?  We cannot keep adding to the list of expected areas of expertise for teachers.
If this bill is one you oppose, now is the time to act.  SB 532 will be heard by the Senate Committee on Education and Health:  Subcommittee on Public Education on Monday afternoon.  It is time to call and email members of this subcommittee, and they are:
Senator Charles Carrico                          804-698-7540
Senator Janet Howell                              804-698-7532
Senator Mamie Locke                             804-6987502
Senator Richard Black                              804-698-7513
Senator Steve Newman                          804-698-7523
Senator Steve Martin                              804-698-7511