An Alabama company criticized for its methods by some medical experts is making millions as the official vision tester for younger schoolchildren in Florida. Now Florida health officials are objecting to the arrangement as well.

Vision Research Inc., which uses a NASA-developed technology called photorefraction, has received $4.4 million since 1997 for vision screening in each of Florida's 67 school districts without submitting a bid. State budget language is so specific that it excludes Vision Research's competitors, officials said.

Using a special camera that takes color pictures of the eye, the company's technology can pick up problems


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