COVID-19 Relief Packages for Schools
In order to push COVID efforts, Biden has signed the $1.9 trillion relief plan. Over $120 billion is going towards the reopening of K-12 schools while colleges and universities will be receiving around $40 billion. The relief plan’s main focus is getting students into their classrooms physically, just as it had been before the pandemic swept the nation. The goal is to permanently keep schools open without having to switch back to MSO.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released guidelines saying that schools can reopen before all teachers receive the Covid-19 vaccination, but students should still adhere to the risk mitigation strategies that we have seen throughout the year, including physical distancing, masking and frequent sanitation.
The relief packages have so far been used for repairing school facilities, most of them being ventilation systems, to improve the air quality of classrooms and reduce the spread of COVID-19. Many schools have used the funding for training staff on the best ways of sanitizing schools and how to properly use protective equipment. The money has also been used for purchasing supplies needed to disinfect schools once the CDC provided an analysis of the costs for such resources to K-12 schools.
The relief packages have contributed greatly for the purpose of supporting school district efforts of improving preparedness for when schools open for all students. As of now, the hardware and software needed for conducting remote and hybrid learning have been purchased with the funding.
“The funding is specific to cleanliness, sanitation, disinfection and personal protection equipment that includes masks, face guards, wipes, and other disinfectant agents,” said Principal Villalobos. Before opening schools entirely with full capacity, using the funding for the safety and security of students and staff is a priority.
The packages can be used for a broader range of purposes, all with the focus of stabilizing schools. Districts have essentially been told that they can use the money for things within laws for education. This includes providing services of support for student mental health. Another use for the money is for addressing the learning loss for disadvantaged students like those living in poverty or experiencing homelessness. School programs including afterschool and summer learning programs can use the funding as well.
The global pandemic has caused an economic crisis for state and local governments, putting them under immense strain when it comes to receiving funding for schools. The relief packages have been working wonders to improve the environment of classrooms in a CDC-friendly manner. With the money, state governments can continue to support the public health response and continue to strive for economic recovery.
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