new law that requires Kentucky students to learn CPR before high school graduation will take effect this summer with implementation during the 2016-2017 school year.

Kentucky is the 29th state to require the training for students. The legislation, signed by the state’s governor on Saturday, requires that students take CPR one time before graduation while enrolled in a health, physical education or Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps course.

Kentucky will have close to 39,000 graduating students a year learning CPR. With Kentucky’s legislation, about 56 percent of the nation’s student population will now be taught how to react to medical emergencies and how to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Decisions are waiting in two states on legislation passed earlier this year requiring CPR for students:

  • South Carolina’s House Bill 3265 passed on March 23 and awaits the governor’s signature. The bill requires high school students to take a CPR training course that also includes AED training and instruction in the proper psychomotor skills needed to perform CPR.
  • Assembly Bill 545 was ready for the Wisconsin governor on Feb. 25, but has not yet been signed. If approved, the law would go into effect for the 2017-2018 school year for students in grades 7 through 12. The legislation focuses on CPR and AED training.