Today’s news:

Keep nurses intact at public schools

An open letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, city Schools Chancellor Joel Klein and city Health Commissioner Thomas Farley:

I am writing on behalf of the constituents in my district whose children attend The Douglaston School of Literature, PS 98, at 40-20 235th St. in Douglaston. PS 98 has an enrollment of 270 students.

Please know that when I was serving as the City Council member of the 23rd District, I co-sponsored legislation in 2004 which became Local Law No. 57. This law was enacted to amend the administrative code of the City of New York (Int. No. 207-A, Section 1, Chapter 1 of Title 17, adding a new Section 17-187). This law requires the city Health Department to “provide on a full-time basis at least one nurse at each public and private primary school which had at least 200 students enrolled on the last day of the second month of the preceding school year .…”

It is vital government does everything possible to protect the health and well-being of our children, especially when they are in our public care during school hours. I oppose the proposal to eliminate school nurses in any school because of enrollment quotas. School nurses are not and should not be in the schools only to react to an emergency.

They are also there in a proactive mode to observe the first signs of any infectious diseases among the children and the faculty. Had it not been for the nurse in a parochial school in my district, St. Francis Preparatory, the swine flu epidemic would not have been dealt with in the appropriate manner.

I am requesting the above proposal be withdrawn because it is shortsighted and irresponsible and appears to conflict with the current law that was passed in 2004.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

David Weprin

City Councilman

Oakland Gardens

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