By Jeff Schwantes
On December 21, 2020, Congress passed a Covid-19 relief bill that included $82 billion in funding for schools and universities to assist with reopening. This funding will remain available to schools through September 30, 2022. The breakdown of that funding is:
- $54.3 billion for K-12 schools
- $22.7 billion for higher education with $1.7 billion set aside for minority-serving institutions and close to $1 billion for for-profit colleges
- $4 billion for governors to spend at their discretion, with $2.7 billion of that for private schools.
The K-12 money will be divided among states and then passed to districts in the same way that Title I funds are, with priority going to high-poverty schools. This state by state breakdown shows more specifically which states get how much money. It is estimated that each school will get about four times the amount of money they received from the CARES Act in the spring of 2020. This money can be used for a variety of expenses, and for a full list of the details of how this funding may be used please read the full text of the covid economic relief bill.
Out of the many expenses intended to help schools and universities overcome challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, there are some expenses that are tied in with healthy cleaning of schools. Many schools across the United States continue to be closed to in-person instruction due to the pandemic. This money may help your custodial and maintenance department better prepare for reopening by providing the funding necessary to train additional staff on infection prevention or to invest in the supplies necessary to clean and disinfect for the coronavirus. These include:
Training and professional development for staff on minimizing the spread of infectious diseases. If you are looking to invest in training programs for your custodial teams, we continue to recommend virtual training programs that ensure safety of personnel through physical distancing. Many janitorial distributors and manufacturers have stepped up to the plate and are providing excellent custodial training, especially now, to address COVID-19. Charlotte Products online training includes classes on COVID-19 infection prevention.
Purchasing supplies to sanitize and clean facilities. When investing in disinfectant products to destroy Covid-19, it is important to choose products on the U.S. EPA’s N List, which indicates which products are effective against covid-19.
School building upgrades and repairs for reducing Covid-19 transmission, including improving ventilation. If your school is interested in updated ventilation, there is plenty to spend money on. Public health experts provide detailed guidance on recommended ventilation upgrades, including portable air cleaners, high-efficiency filters (those rated MERV 13 or higher) and ultraviolet technology to help inactivate the virus through ventilation systems.
Contact your local distributor or manufacturer to learn more about the training options, infection prevention technology and supplies or ventilation upgrades available for your school.