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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: September 10, 2019 10:39 AM
From: Representative David H. Zimmerman
To: All House members
Subject: Amend School Code: Eye Health
I plan to introduce legislation to amend the School Code to require eye health examinations at crucial points in children's development. Since 80% of a child’s learning is visual, this legislation would greatly enhance a child’s potential for academic success. The legislation would be patterned on already existing legislation regarding dental examinations.

Current requirements for vision screenings are inadequate. The Vision in Preschoolers Study, funded by the National Eye Institute, found that even the most highly trained vision screeners using the most advanced vision screening technology will miss one-third of children with an eye or vision problem. Sixty percent of “problem learners” are believed to suffer from undetected or untreated visual problems.

Studies reports that 10% of preschoolers (75,200 Pennsylvania pre-school children), and up to 25% of children in grades K through 6 have vision disorders. The numbers are even higher in children at risk and special needs children.

By requiring proper eye health examinations this legislation will significantly decrease the number of untreated and undetected eye health problems and improve the academic performance of students identified as having a visual deficiency.

By identifying those children who are having problems learning due to vision deficits, the legislation will result in significant savings to school districts since the number of students placed in special education programs will decrease.

Please join me in sponsoring this legislation. Thank you for your consideration.

Introduced as HB2118