During the 2015 legislative session, AHA advocates worked hard to pass legislation making CT the 24th state to require CPR training in the public school curriculum. At the same time, a High School Graduation Task Force was formed to review recent changes to the state’s high school graduation requirements.
Upon completion of its study, the Task Force submitted numerous recommendations to the legislature’s Education committee. One of their recommendations was to remove the CPR training requirement from the curriculum! Their main issue was that they thought it would be difficult to fund and to find available instructors. We informed them that the per-student cost would be approximately $1.00, and that many schools have been able to provide training at no cost using community volunteer instructors or video-based programs, donated equipment, and drawing support from businesses, foundations, civic organizations and public agencies.
The AHA advocacy team lobbied hard against this proposal and testified on the bill at its public hearing. When the bill was finally discussed numerous legislators expressed support for maintaining CPR training in the curriculum and seemed surprised that the Task Force proposed taking it out. What made the real difference, however, was that AHA volunteers, board members and employees sent emails and made numerous phone calls to targeted members on the Education committee. Largely because of these activities, the committee ultimately did not advance the bill and CPR training remains in the curriculum.