Senator M. TERESA RUIZ
District 29 (Essex)
Senator SHIRLEY K. TURNER
District 15 (Hunterdon and Mercer)
Senators Diegnan, Singleton and Pou
Requires young children entering public schools or Head Start Programs for first time to have comprehensive eye examination completed.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
As reported by the Senate Education Committee on December 6, 2018, with amendments.
An Act concerning the vision of certain children and supplementing chapter 40 of Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. a. The State Board of Education shall require a child age 6 and under who is entering a public preschool, public school, or a Head Start Program for the first time to have a comprehensive eye examination completed by an optometrist or ophthalmologist by January 1 of the child’s initial year of enrollment in the school or program.
b. 1The Department of Health shall maintain a list of resources from which a parent or guardian may obtain a free or reduced price comprehensive eye examination for a child. The list shall be posted on the department’s Internet website and updated annually. The department shall also provide the list annually to each public preschool, public school, and Head Start Program, and the list shall be made available by the public preschool, public school, and Head Start Program to the parents or guardians of all enrolled children.
c.1 A principal, director, or other person in charge of a public preschool, public school, or Head Start Program shall collect from the child’s parent or guardian evidence of the child’s comprehensive eye examination, as provided by regulation of the State board.
1In the case of a parent or guardian who has not provided evidence of the child’s comprehensive eye exam, the principal, director, or other person in charge of a public preschool, public school, or Head Start Program shall notify the parents or guardians every three months following the child’s initial enrollment of the requirement regarding the comprehensive eye examination.1
1[c.] d.1 A comprehensive eye examination that was performed 1no more than one year1 prior to a child’s initial enrollment in a public preschool, public school, or Head Start Program shall be deemed to satisfy the requirement of this section.
1[d.] e.1 The State Board of Education shall adopt rules and regulations pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), to implement the provisions of this section.
1[e.] f. There
is hereby created a special fund in the Department of Education, which shall be
entitled the "Comprehensive Eye Examination Fund." The fund shall be
maintained in a separate account and administered by the commissioner to carry
provisions of this section. The fund shall consist of (1) any monies appropriated by the State for the purposes of the fund; (2) any monies donated for the purposes of the fund; and (3) all interest and investment earnings received on monies in the fund. The fund shall be used to cover the costs of comprehensive eye examinations conducted pursuant to this section, for any uninsured children and children without applicable healthcare coverage.
g.1 As used in this section, "comprehensive eye examination" means an evaluation that includes a child's history, external and ophthalmoscopic examination, visual acuity, ocular alignment and motility, refraction, and assessment of accommodation and binocular vision, performed by an optometrist or ophthalmologist.
2. This act shall take effect in the first full school year following the date of enactment.