State Shortfalls Force Counties to Cut Back on Vision & Hearing Tests

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State funding for the vital program was cut by 50 percent and Michigan even toned down its requirements to even out what had to be done at the county level.

County health departments perform the school vision and hearing screenings and they've had to scale back tests because they can't afford to keep testing as many students as they had before.

The Barry Eaton District Health Department lost $45,000 worth of state funding. Community Health Service Manager Mary Hillabrand, R.N. says their program is one-third what it was last year at this time.

Beginning February 4, hearing screenings will only be required for kids in kindergarten and vision tests will only be performed on kids in kindergarten, first and third grades.

There is a chance funding could be fully restored next year, the program is one of the things Governor Granholm is considering in her budget proposals due out next month.