A first-grade student died in a Philadelphia school whose nurse was not on duty because of budget cuts.

The child was given CPR and sent by ambulance to a hospital, where he died.

In a story by Daniel Denvir, nurse Amy Smigiel said:

“There is no net for the staff or the children,” she says. “There’s no requirement to have any kind of medical team. It’s my job as the nurse to make sure there’s an emergency plan, and basically it is 911…The equipment isn’t there, nothing is there for them.”

“Smigiel works at Jackson only on Thursdays and every other Friday. Until five years ago, Smigiel says that she was present at Jackson every single day. Smigiel says that she has worked at Jackson for 12 years, and worked for 15 years prior in an emergency room…..

“Philadelphia public schools have long lacked necessary funding, but recent cuts by Gov. Tom Corbett have sent the District into an increasingly dire fiscal crises. As of last fall, there were 179 nurses working in public, private and parochial schools, down from 289 in 2011. In September, sixth-grader Laporshia Massey died of what her father described as an asthma attack after falling sick while no nurse was on duty at Bryant Elementary School. The death caused an outcry against school budget cuts, and Corbett soon released $45 million for the District that had been withheld on the condition of teachers union concessions. Corbett denied that the funding was related to Massey’s death.”

How many more children will die before the Governor and the Legislature are held accountable? Who will press criminal charges against those who endanger the lives of children? Isn’t that what accountability is all about? The officials with the power to safeguard the lives of these children abandoned them. Surely the preservation of lives is more important than test scores and budget savings.