California Public Schools Must Provide Services For Children With Diabetes

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The California Department of Educationon Wednesday announced a new policy that requires all public schools inthe state to have a staff member trained to provide insulin injectionsand other services for children with diabetes, the Bay City News/San Jose Mercury News reports. Schools can hire nurses to provide such services or train other staff members to provide them (Bay City News/San Jose Mercury News,8/9). In addition, under the policy, schools must allow children withdiabetes to perform blood sugar tests and cannot require them to attendcertain facilities (Manning, USA Today, 8/9).

The policy is part of a settlement of a lawsuit filed in 2005 by four families of children with diabetes and the American Diabetes Associationagainst the department and the San Ramon Valley and Fremont Unifiedschool districts. In the lawsuit, filed in U.S District Court in SanFrancisco, the parents alleged that their children did not receive theeducation to which they are entitled because their schools did notprovide them with insulin injections and other services (Louie, Contra Costa Times, 8/8). According to the lawsuit, the defendants violated federal laws that protect children with disabilities (USA Today, 8/9).

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Thedepartment, which did not fight the lawsuit, will send a legal guide toschools on services for children with diabetes and outline their rightsunder federal laws that protect children with disabilities. Stateschools Superintendent Jack O'Connell said that the number of childrenaffected by the settlement and the cost for schools remain undetermined(San Jose Mercury News, 8/9).

Arlene Mayerson -- an attorney with the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund,which represented the parents in the lawsuit -- said, "The importanceof this settlement is it's applying" federal laws that protect childrenwith disabilities to those with diabetes, adding, "This will be a modelfor states across the country" (USA Today, 8/9).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire KaiserDaily Health Policy Report, search the archives, andsign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. 2007Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rightsreserved.

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