The safety and health of our children is a concern that every parent shares each time their child enters the school doors. Parents need assurance that, while under supervision and care of the school, their children will have immediate access to health/medical care should an emergency occur or routine care is required. However, Charlotte-Mecklenburg does not provide enough nurses to care for students according to national guidelines.
To protect the health and safety of children in schools, national guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and the Health Services and Resources Administration state that there should be a ratio of 1 nurse to every 750 students in schools nationwide. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hpdata2010/hp2010_final_review_focus_area_07.pdf
School nurses help facilitate learning for all students, especially those with asthma, food allergies, obesity, vision and hearing difficulties, dental problems, mental and behavioral problems, and those who need prescribed medicine for either acute or chronic conditions.
With 98 percent of school-age children in the U.S. spending their days at school, the role of the school nurse is critical to the implementation of quality school health services. For many children, contact with a school nurse is often the only consistent access to a health care professional.
CMS educates approximately 40,000 students. There is an increasing population of students with health issues like those mentioned above. We realize that our children have increasingly complex needs for nursing care. However, Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools has only 1 nurse per 1200 students.
It is pertinent that the number of school nurses be increased to bring Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools schools into compliance with the CDC guidelines. Nurses are vital to our children's health and safety. We feel strongly that CMS must work towards achieving a ratio of 1 to 750, and we implore the Health Department to request funds foradditional Nurses during the next budget cycle. In addition, we ask the
County Manager and Mecklenburg County Commissioners to support their consituents and approve these funds. The safety of our children is at risk.