Education Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

HB-5348

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING THE ADMINISTRATION OF MEDICINE TO STUDENTS WITH DIABETES, THE DUTIES OF SCHOOL MEDICAL ADVISORS, THE INCLUSION OF CPR AND AED TRAINING IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOL CURRICULUM AND PHYSICAL EXERCISE DURING THE SCHOOL DAY.

Vote Date:

3/14/2012

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable Substitute Change of Reference to Public Health

PH Date:

3/5/2012

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Education Committee

REASONS FOR BILL:

The purpose of this bill is to revise duties of a school medical advisor by eliminating certain examination requirements and requiring them to work with the school board and board of health or health department.

The substitute language of HB 5348 which was previously the text of HB 5349 and HB 5354 requires a school's health and safety curriculum to include CPR and AED training and also requires that schools devote to students in grades Kindergarten through five, at least 20 minutes of physical exercise.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

Commissioner Stefan Pryor of the State Board of Education spoke in favor of the bill, stating that the bill would strengthen the presence of school nurses in school districts and establish an Advisory Council to examine professional development for them.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Steve Updegrove from the Academy of Pediatrics spoke in support of the bill as a necessary improvement and clarification of the role of school medical advisors. He offered two suggestions for changes in the bill which would bring up to date an anachronistic statute and further clarify the role of a school medical advisor.

Verna Bernard Jones, President of the Hartford Federation of Teachers Health Professionals, spoke in support of the bill. She emphasized that most people do not realize that schools are health care settings as well as education settings and how important they are for general healthcare, emergencies, and promoting good health practices.

George Hosey, a Ledyard parent, spoke in support of the bill informing the committee of his son's recent diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes. He discussed the problems his son faces with the disease and the obstacles in place at his school that affects his treatment.


Donna Kosiorowski of the Association of School Nurses of Connecticut
discussed the history and importance of school nurses in the U.S. citing a Connecticut Health Services Survey and other sources.

Mary Loftus Levine, the CEA Executive Director, submitted testimony reflecting CEA's support of the bill and its goals. She cites a recently released CEA document, “A View from the Classroom,” and the bills relevance to this document.

Michael Corjulo, the president of the CT School Nurse Association, submitted testimony in support of the bill sharing his knowledge of school nurses and the benefits this bill would have for school systems.

Lori Pelletier, Secretary and Treasurer of the Connecticut AFL-CIO, submitted testimony in support of the bill and the importance healthy children have on education as well as on other students, teachers and families.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

The Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE) submitted testimony expressing their concern with the bill expanding the duties of school medical advisors and the cost associated with this, without evidence of the benefits this bill will have.

Mary Jane Williams, the current Chairperson of the Government Relations Committee and Professor Emeritus, Central Connecticut State University, submitted testimony on behalf of the CT Nurses' association of her concern with the lack of a clear definition in the bill of that a School Medical Advisor is. She believes the definition of a School Medical Advisor should be based on that of the national Association of School Nurses.

Jim Finley, Executive Director and CEO of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities submitted testimony stating their opposition of HB 5348 because of the new unfunded mandates it would create for towns and cities.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT (HB 5349):

Matthew Galligan, an American Heart Association Volunteer, spoke in support of including CPR and AED training in the Public School Curriculum, and shared a story of a personal experience he had where the lessons and skills he had learned in CPR helped him to keep his neighbor alive. He expressed his belief that CPR is an essential life skill and has the potential to help students save lives in the future.

Evelyn Pontbriant from the CT Athletic Trainers Association spoke in strong support of including CPR and AED training in the Public School Curriculum. She talked about her son, Larry, who unexpectedly died after having a Sudden Cardiac Arrest in 2007 and the importance of having CPR and AED training.

John Bailey, the State Director of Government Relations for the American Heart Association spoke in support of including CPR and AED training in the Public School Curriculum. He cited some important statistics relating to cardiac arrests and CPR, as well as a study published in Circulation. John also shared stories of situations where CPR saved lives and emphasized his belief that training students would save lives.

Dr. Seth Lapuk, a Pediatric Cardiologist at Connecticut Children's Medical Center spoke in support of including CPR and AED training in the Public School Curriculum for the following two main reasons; First to train the public in general life saving techniques and second to positively affect outcomes in the general population, and more specifically the school population. He recalled three events in which CPR saved lives. He discussed survival rates and training that is offered by the American Heart Association that could be implemented into a school curriculum.

Dr. Gilead Lancaster, the Director of Non-Invasive Cardiology at Bridgeport Hospital spoke in support of including CPR and AED training in the Public School Curriculum. He discussed how important this training can be in saving lives and gave a list of what The Connecticut Chapter of the American College of Cardiology believes should be the minimum conditions for CPR and AED training for high school graduation.

Ann Marie Colebrook, an Administrator from the Glastonbury Public School System, submitted testimony in support of including CPR and AED training in the Public School Curriculum. She included several stories she believes supports her strong feelings on how valuable CPR and AED training is in the school system.

Gloria Bindelglass, and emergency room nurse at Bridgeport Hospital, submitted testimony in support of including CPR and AED training in the Public School Curriculum. She included many supporting facts of why this training is important and explained how little time it takes to teach the CPR and AED training to students.

Meaghan Maguire, a senior at Ellington High School, submitted testimony in support of including CPR and AED training in the Public School Curriculum. She discussed her experience in CPR and AED training as a teenager and the importance it could have on other students.

Paul Shipman, the Chief Communication Officer at the American Red Cross Connecticut and Rhode Island Region, submitted testimony in support of including CPR and AED training in the Public School Curriculum. He discussed the American Red Cross AED Program and how critical it can be to have access and training for an AED in certain medical circumstances.

Ray Rossomando and Gayle Hooker of CEA submitted testimony in support of including CPR and AED training in the Public School Curriculum, and how the training has advanced to a degree that anyone can be knowledgeable in using CPR and AEDs to assist in aid if the circumstances arise.

Vicky Graham, of the Connecticut Athletic Trainer's Association, submitted testimony in support of including CPR and AED training in the Public School Curriculum. She discussed how AEDs can save lives in circumstances of sudden cardiac arrest of seemingly healthy people. She also stated that the inclusion of this into a school curriculum would not be burdensome and could use course material already available from the American Heart Association and the American Red Cross.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION (HB 5349):

Jim Finley, Executive Director and CEO of The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities submitted testimony stating their opposition of HB 5349 because of the new unfunded mandates it would create for towns and cities.

The Connecticut Association of Boards of Education submitted testimony in opposition to including CPR and AED training in the Public School Curriculum.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT (HB 5354):

Elaine Zimmerman from the Connecticut Commission on Children spoke in support of requiring schools to give students in Kindergarten through grade five at least a total of 20 minutes of physical exercise a day, stating that according to the American Obesity Society, Today's youth are considered the most inactive generation in history. She offered many statistics on overweight children in CT and enforced that physical activity is crucial to preventing this.

Trish Witkin, a Glastonbury Athletic Director spoke in support of HB 5354 but asked for some amendments to be added regarding the position of athletic director through title recognition and acceptance of changes to qualifications.

Fred Balsamo, the Executive Director of the Connecticut Association of Athletic Directors, spoke in support of sections 1 and 2 of HB 5354, speaking on the roles of Athletic Directors in the Public School District. He also offered several suggested amendments to the bill.

Cathy Monckton, of Girls Scouts, spoke in support of requiring schools to give students in Kindergarten through grade five at least a total of 20 minutes of physical exercise a day. She emphasized how important physical exercise is to girl scouts and cited a recent study, The New Normal?, in which research shows how physical exercise can slow and retract the recent growing rate of child obesity.

Abbie Vita, Healthy Enfield Co-Coordinator, submitted testimony in support of requiring schools to give students in Kindergarten through grade five at least a total of 20 minutes of physical exercise a day. She states that the bill would help to reduce childhood obesity which is a growing epidemic in Connecticut.

Dr. Jack Zamary, the Principle at Middlebury Elementary School, submitted testimony in support of requiring schools to give students in Kindergarten through grade five at least a total of 20 minutes of physical exercise a day.

Maggie Adair, the Executive Director of the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance, submitted testimony in support of requiring schools to give students in Kindergarten through grade five at least a total of 20 minutes of physical exercise a day. She claimed that giving children the physical activity they need helps combat obesity and it is concerning that some schools have taken this away.

Paul Mengold, the Director of Athletics for the Amity Regional School District, submitted testimony in favor of requiring schools to give students in Kindergarten through grade five at least a total of 20 minutes of physical exercise a day with a few suggested amendments. He believes that amended text should be added to define the title and requirements of an Athletic Administrator.

Roger C. LeBlanc, the President of the Enfield Food Shelf Board of Directors, submitted testimony in support of requiring schools to give students in Kindergarten through grade five at least a total of 20 minutes of physical exercise a day. He explained that the Enfield Food Shelf supports the bill because many children of the families that visit the facility do not eat nutritious meals and lack receiving physical activity through recreation activities.

Karen Strickland of the Wilton Alliance for a Healthy Community submitted testimony in support of requiring schools to give students in Kindergarten through grade five at least a total of 20 minutes of physical exercise a day. The organization believes that physical activity is important for children and works with Wilton Public schools to ensure the opportunities are provided.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION (HB 5354):

The Connecticut Association of Boards of Education opposes requiring schools to give students in Kindergarten through grade five at least a total of 20 minutes of physical exercise a day. It feels that more frequent, short breaks are effective for student's education and that requiring physical exercise should be left to the schools to best meet its students needs physically and academically.

Roch J. Girard, the President of the Connecticut Federation of School Administrators, submitted testimony in opposition of requiring schools to give students in Kindergarten through grade five at least a total of 20 minutes of physical exercise a day. He believes that this, while well intended, is impractical for schools that all ready struggle to find time for academic work and would not be able to meet this requirements without an extended school day.

Jim Finley, Executive Director and CEO of The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities submitted testimony stating their opposition of HB 5354 because of the new unfunded mandates it would create for towns and cities.

Reported by: Richard B. Eighme

Date: 04/19/2012