This bill establishes Vision Health Account and directs Department of Education to reimburse education provider for expenses incurred from providing vision screenings.
The bill appropriates $3 million General Fund to the ODE for the 2017-19 biennium for the purposes of administering grants for reimbursement of the vision screenings. The ODE anticipates having a fiscal impact associated with this bill related to a position, 0.75 FTE in the 2017-19 biennium and 1.00 FTE in the 2019-21 biennium, that would be responsible for administering the grants plus possible administrative costs.
Oregon Lions Sight & Hearing Foundation (OLSHF) has provided 180,000 free vision screenings to students. Oregon currently has the largest volunteer screening program in the country with fast accurate technology. The new technology has reduced screening costs to $3.20 per student. The state has no responsibility of taking over volunteer work that is successful. The state should provide incentives to expand the volunteer program to cover the 246 school not being serviced by the volunteer program instead of spending $3 million to make it a state administered program with funding the state doesn't have.