Nurse-Staffing Notification Bill Moving Forward

The Senate also this afternoon passed SB 196 by Sen. Sylvia Garcia (D-Houston), a bill requiring parents to be notified when their child’s school lacks full-time nurse staffing. For good measure, the bill extends the same requirement to schools that lack full-time counselor or librarian staffing. The bill met with opposition on the floor from Sen. Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville), who objected that it would be used to “shame” non-complying school districts, and Sen. Bob Hall (R-Canton), who called it an “unfunded mandate” even though the required notice could easily be made on the district’s website. Sen. Garcia said the bill was simply about transparency, providing important information to parents, and she prevailed on a preliminary vote by a margin of 18 to 13.