REFERENCE TITLE: vision screening; schools; appropriation





State of Arizona


Fifty-fourth Legislature

First Regular Session





SB 1456


Introduced by

Senator Allen S





Amending title 36, chapter 7.2, Arizona Revised Statutes, by adding article 2; appropriating monies; relating to vision screening.





Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Arizona:

Section 1.  Heading change

The chapter heading of title 36, chapter 7.2, Arizona Revised Statutes, is changed from "CHILD HEARING PROGRAMS" to "CHILD HEARING AND VISION PROGRAMS".

Sec. 2.  Title 36, chapter 7.2, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended by adding article 2, to read:


START_STATUTE36-899.10.  Vision screening; administration; rules; notification; definitions

A.  Each school shall provide vision screening services to the following:

1.  Students in grades that are prescribed by the department by rule.

2.  Students receiving or being considered for special education services and who have not been screened in the last year pursuant to this section.

3.  Students whose teacher has made a request for the student to be screened and who has not been screened in the last year pursuant to this section.

4.  Students who are not reading at grade level by the third grade pursuant to the state assessment required in section 15‑741, if the rules adopted by the department do not require screening in the third grade.

B.  A school nurse, volunteer or other school personnel who has undergone training developed by the department shall administer the vision screenings.

C.  A vision screening conducted pursuant to this section does not satisfy a requirement for a medical professional to complete a vision screening of a child according to established guidelines for pediatric care.

D.  The school governing body shall provide the vision screening results to the parent or guardian of each student who has not passed a vision screening within forty‑five days after the vision screening and shall comply with all applicable privacy laws.  The results shall identify that the student did not pass the vision screening and the need for a comprehensive eye and vision examination.  The results shall state that a vision screening is not equivalent to a comprehensive eye and vision examination.

E.  The school governing body providing vision screening services shall provide to the department annual data submissions in a department‑approved format that complies with student privacy laws.

F.  A student is not required to submit to any vision screening required by this section if a parent or guardian of the student objects and submits a statement of the objection to the school or if the student has a current diagnosis of permanent vision loss.

G.  For the purposes of assisting and implementing the vision screening requirements established by this section, the department or its delegate may:

1.  Develop and provide vision screening training to screeners designated in subsection B of this section.

2.  Subject to available monies, provide schools with materials the department determines by rule to be necessary for conducting vision screenings.

3.  Compile the school vision screening data, with all individual identifying information removed, for review and analysis by other interested parties.

H.  The department shall adopt rules pursuant to title 41, chapter 6 to carry out this section.  The rules may not require materials and equipment specific to any one provider and shall include, where consistent with the requirements of this section, feedback from the public education programs required to implement the vision screenings.  Rules adopted to carry out subsection A of this section shall be done in consultation with the department of education.

I.  For the purposes of this section:

1.  "Comprehensive eye and vision examination" means a vision examination performed by an optometrist or ophthalmologist.

2.  "Department" means the department of health services.

3.  "School" means a school district or charter school that provides instruction in preschool, kindergarten programs and grades one through twelve, or any combination of those programs or grades.

4.  "Vision screening" means using a vision screening methodology prescribed by rules adopted by the department pursuant to this section that include the evaluation of visual acuity, depth perception and color vision and that may include refraction.

5.  "Vision screening services" means services that include identifying, testing and evaluating a child's vision and identifying the need for follow-up services, as prescribed by rules adopted by the department pursuant to this section. END_STATUTE

Sec. 3.  Appropriation; department of health services; vision screening

The sum of $100,000 is appropriated from the state general fund in fiscal year 2019‑2020 to the department of health services for the purposes prescribed in title 36, chapter 7.2, article 2, Arizona Revised Statutes, as added by this act, including to purchase vision screening kits if monies are available.