270-thousand children across Oregon will now get comprehensive vision screening in public school districts and preschools.
In 2017, lawmakers passed a bill to provide $1 million for student vision screenings in public school districts and preschools statewide. Oregon House Bill 5015, passed on July first, doubled the funding to $2 million.
Doug Thompson, executive director of the Oregon Lions Sight & Hearing Foundation, says they believe the state’s low graduation rate may be due to undetected vision problems.
“This funding will help identify more students that need eyeglasses,” says Thompson. “As a result, more kids will be able to read at grade-level and we believe that will help them continue on a path of academic success.”
According to the Oregon Optometric Physicians Association, 60% of children identified as problem learners have undetected vision problems.
Thompson adds these eye exams will also be useful in diagnosing harder-to-identify vision problems, such as astigmatism.