When Galt Joint Union Elementary School District holds a free booster immunization clinic later this month, it will cost taxpayers next to nothing.
But Lodi Unified School District has spent an estimated $120,000 on the vaccine, clinics and communication with parents about the new state law that requires the booster for sevenththrough 12-graders this school year.
Legislators recently gave districts a reprieve, allowing 30 days for full compliance before students without documentation of receiving the booster will be sent home. The deadline is Aug. 31 for Lodi Unified.
Ivie Gonsalves, the district's special services coordinator, said it is difficult to calculate the personnel hours that have been diverted to meet the new immunization law.
In addition to this, the district allocated approximately $120,000 for paper and printing, mailing and other distribution costs, plus the vaccines, needles and staffing for clinics held over the summer.
Additional personnel have also been paid for data entry and record maintenance to ensure that every student required to show proof of receiving the booster does so.
Galt schools have spent far less.
As Sacramento County Public Health and the Human Services Immunization Program bears the cost of the clinics, the Galt elementary district's only real cost so far has been custodial staffing for the clinic that was held on a Saturday, according to Robert Nacario, director of educational services.
That personnel cost was $155. It was considered a work day for district health department staff that assisted.
The district also advertised for free through parent fliers and with a banner advertisement on its own website, in addition to making automated phone calls to student households since January, Nacario said.
Likewise, Galt Joint Union High School District's costs so far have been minimal, according to Superintendent Daisy Lee.
"We invested a lot of staff time rather than actual cost of paying for the Dtap shots," she said.
For example, the district's school nurse drafted letters to parents about the requirement, contacted health agencies to coordinate clinics and translated the letter sent home to parents into Spanish.
Additionally, principals and assistant principals spoke at various parent meetings and sent monthly and later twice-monthly message out to parents through the district's Connect Ed phone dialer, according to Lee.
Other staff members, too, have handled the intake of Dtap vaccination verifications from parents and inputted the information into the computer system.
"We spent about $75 for translation services of our fliers," Lee said. "It is difficult to quantify when one's job starts and ends in dealing with the issue as all staff members do what they have to do."
She estimates that the school nurse has expended the most time in dealing with this issue, an estimated designated 60 hours since December.
Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at email@example.com.