School nursing days cut

Published 10:14 pm Thursday, August 11, 2011

In an ongoing line of budget cuts and funding hurdles, Selma City Schools Thursday approved the reduced number of days school nurses will be contracted.

Although the number of days may be reduced, the level of care provided to students and the time spent with students will not change.

“Through all of this, the good thing is that every day the students are in school, the nurses will be at school,” Superintendent of Education Dr. Donald Jefferson said. “The days that will be cut, will be those days before school starts, and days after school ends, when students are not there.”

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The reductions were forced when the Alabama Legislature approved reduced funding for schools during the last legislative session.

All of the funding that goes to provide nurses in schools comes from the state.

“This certainly hurts for us to have to do this,” Jefferson said. “But the only money we get for nurses comes from the state.”

Jefferson said funding school nurses used to be the responsibility of the local districts, but that responsibility shifted to the state a number of years ago.

The reduction lessens the contract for nurses from a 187-day contract to a 182-day contract.

“We have some kids with some serious situations and the nurses are critical to the success and effectiveness of our school system,” Jefferson said. “Believe me, if I could find the funds to pay them for those other five days, I would.”

The system employs 10 nurses to serve 11 schools. Currently, one nurse is split between Byrd and Knox schools.
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