Viewpoint: Nurses are needed in schools

As they hammer out a new budget, Georgia lawmakers are faced with the task of cutting two billion dollars in state spending.

Among the cuts being considered is state funding for school nurses.

Schools could lose the $30 million a year the state pays for school nurses and that would mean that already cash-strapped school systems would have to find money elsewhere or be forced to fire school nurses.

Dougherty County is lucky enough to have nurses provided by Phoebe Putney Hospital, but that's not the case in smaller and even poorer counties.

If the state abolishes this funding it will be up to those counties to either come up with the money on their own, or take nurses out of the schools.

We don't want to see that happen.

We believe nurses play an important role in the safety and well-being of children in public schools.

Not only are they there to provide medical care, these nurses are often role models.

Many of them counsel students on protecting themselves from teen pregnancy, STD's and other health-related risks.

They even offer guidance for students interested in careers in the health care field.

We believe these nurses are an important part of our educational system and we are hopeful that legislators will find other ways to trim the government fat without taking action that we believe will be truly detrimental to Georgia students.