In Florida, New School Laws Have an Unintended Consequence: Bureaucracy



Got a cut and need a Band-Aid? Want to be called Will instead of William? Or get your vision checked?

Across Florida, hundreds of thousands of students need permission slips for what was once routine in schools.

Educators in the state say recent laws and regulations around parental consent have created an entirely new bureaucracy, filled with forms and nagging phone calls to parents. The requirements have made it more difficult to provide services to children who need them — even services like vision and hearing tests.

“Nurses are spending most of their time trying to obtain permission” from parents, said Lisa Kern, director of the Florida Association of School Nurses. That permission does not always come, as busy parents — particularly those who work several jobs or do not speak English — sometimes do not respond.


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