Press Release

AFT's Randi Weingarten on the NURSE Act

For Release: 

Friday, May 10, 2019


Elena Temple

WASHINGTON—Statement from Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, on support for the Nurses for Under-Resourced Schools Everywhere (NURSE) Act, sponsored by Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Rep. Dina Titus (D-Nev.), to help provide nurses in under-resourced public schools:

 “When kids get sick or injured at school, or have unique medical needs, school nurses are right there, providing the care and comfort students need to feel safe and healthy at school. This bill isn’t just about providing that care for the kids who have enough, it’s about providing it for the kids who need a little more, too. 

“Unfortunately, a decade of disinvestment in public schools has left more than half of all schools nationwide with no full-time healthcare professional: Three million students in this country attend schools with some kind of police or security officer, but no nurse. And too often, these positions are cut in lower-income districts where students’ only exposure to healthcare may be at school. School nurses care for other people’s children—they know their names and they invest in their well-being. In turn, we must invest in those nurses.

“The NURSE Act makes federal funding available to put a nurse in every school, so children in under-resourced public schools can get equitable access to the care they need, and be ready to learn.”

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.