A proposal to delay testing new teachers for tuberculosis got some push-back from House members on Tuesday. The House Education Committee held off voting on the bill.
The state Department of Health and Human Services sent a memo to local health departments earlier this year telling them that there is a shortage not only of a drug used to treat TB, but of the protein used in the skin test to screen for the lung disease.
DHHS advised health departments to put off routine skin-test screening, including in cases of employee hiring.
That advisory puts a crimp in teacher hiring. New teachers or those returning to the classroom are required by law to get the TB skin test.
Education committee members balked at the bill, which would allow school districts to put off the test requirement. Members questioned an open-ended deferral and whether the shortage was nationwide. The bill got pulled from consideration.
The National Centers for Disease Control reported in April a nationwide shortage of the skin-test product.