Childhood eye screening bill gets House OK


Learning can be tough when you can’t see the blackboard.

This idea is at the root of a bill designed to help students with their vision as they begin school. HF300, sponsored by Rep. Sondra Erickson (R-Princeton), was passed 133-0 by the House and now goes to the Senate where Sen. David Hann (R-Eden Prairie) is the sponsor.

By law, school districts are required to hold early childhood development screenings for children who are nearing school age. This helps the schools identify children who could benefit from district or community resources, which may help with development.

Erickson intends to take the current screening a step further with HF300, which would require districts to share information about vision screening with parents. The bill explains the benefits that stem from vision testing and says that testing the child receives is not a substitute for a comprehensive eye exam.

During a Jan. 26 meeting of the House Education Reform Committee, Erickson said, “We have to be in the business of letting parents know what is available out there. … If it helps one child, we must do so.”