No more pencils. No more books. No more teachers’ dirty looks…And no more mandatory eye exams? In June, school’s out for summer—and the children’s vision law in Missouri may be out as well.
The Missouri children’s vision law was passed in 2007. It requires kindergartners and first graders to have a comprehensive vision exam by a licensed optometrist or physician. But the law also has a five-year “sunset” clause, so it will expire this year unless it’s renewed by the legislature.
The state House of Representatives approved a version of a bill that would renew the children’s vision law. But, a similar bill in the state Senate hit a dead end—it never made it out of committee.
Now the law is in limbo, and opponents are coming out against extending the law, says Jeff Weaver, O.D., president of the Missouri Optometric Association.
“We are definitely in a dogfight,” he says. But, “for the benefit of the children of Missouri, we are not giving up the fight yet.”
So, optometrists in the Show-Me State are redoubling their efforts and meeting with advisors and lobbyists.
“It’s too important for the future of the [children of our] state to let it go without our best fight,” Dr. Weaver says.