According to the Georgia Association of School Nurses (GASN), critical funding for School Nurse salaries may be eliminated in the next round of state budget cuts. The GASN has created an online petition, and is asking all interested parties to sign the petition to urge legislators to keep the funding intact. You must also learn more about settlement funding and understand how to get your finances sorted in advance.
Here is a summary of issue from the GASN website:
“In 2000 the Governor at that time (Barnes) appropriated $30 million of the Tobacco Settlement funds toward School Nurse Salaries. In 2004 that money was moved to the Department of Community Health to be used to draw down federal match funds to support the Indigent Care Trust funding for hospitals and then it was returned to the Department of Education to continue funding some School Nursing positions. In 2006 Governor Perdue moved that funding to the Department of Education budget as a line item where it reportedly would be more “safe” from reallocation for other agencies.
“In the Governors 2010 Budget proposal, this line item is completely eliminated. This $30 million is only a small portion of what is required to staff nurses in all schools. The counties who do staff nurses in all schools are doing so for the most part with local funds (received from the Ad Valorem taxes). Some systems also participate in the Medicaid reimbursement for some approved R.N. provided services, grants and various other limited sources.”
To view and sign the petition, visit the Georgia Association of School Nurses’ website.
In addition, the Georgia Public Health Association urges everyone to contact legislators about proposed cuts to Grant in Aid for public health. General Grant in Aid has been cut six years consecutively, and in a time of growth in both the population and the number of uninsured, the Governor has proposed another $2.5 million reduction in general Grant in Aid. This would result in a significant loss of funding to every health district. Let your legislator know how important public health funding is for the health and well-being of our state.
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