SCS/SB 214 -Under the provisions of this act, beginning July 1, 2006, every child enrolling in kindergarten or first grade shall receive one comprehensive vision examination performed by a state licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist. The state board of education shall promulgate rules regarding the requirements of this act.
The act requires the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Department of Health and Senior Services to compile and maintain a list of sources to which children who may need vision examinations or children who have been found to need further examination or vision correction may be referred for treatment on a free or reduced cost basis. A child may be excused from taking a vision examination based on religious beliefs by submitting a written request to the appropriate school administrator.
Further, the act alters the statutorily-allowed uses for the "Blindness Education, Screening and Treatment Program Fund." Under this act the fund shall cover additional costs for vision examinations under Section 167.195, that are not covered by existing public health insurance. Subject to appropriations, moneys from the fund shall be used to pay for those additional costs, provided that the costs from the fund not exceed ninety-nine thousand dollars a year.