Audit: Replacing school nurses with aides saves money

A recent audit showed that an eastern Kansas school district could save money by employing health aides instead of nurses.

But the district’s recent superintendent said nurses are worth the extra money because of the services they can provide.

A Legislative Post Audit study of staffing and other practices at Auburn-Washburn Unified School District 437 showed the 6,200-student district could save $68,000 a year by replacing four of its 10 nurses with health aides.

The switch also would save the state $9,000 a year in pension funding because lower pay would mean lower retirement obligations.

The Topeka Capital-Journal ( reports Brenda Dietrich, superintendent of the district from 2001 until last month, said the district considers nurses worth the money and that parents are more comfortable with a nurse at school.

Information from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal,