What the New COVID-19 Stimulus Bill Means for Schools
Congress and President Trump recently approved a COVID-19 relief package that will provide aid for the economy. The over 5,000-page bill contains $900 billion in aid for qualifying Americans that can be worth up to $600 per adult and child, an increase benefits for the unemployed, as well as funds for small-business aid and vaccine distribution. It includes stimulus checks, help for small businesses, and vaccine distribution funding. What does this mean for schools?
About $82 billion out of the $900 billion would go to education itself:
– $54.3 billion would go to K-12 grade
– $22.7 would go to higher education
– $1.7 billion would go to minority serving institutions
– $1 billion for colleges for profit
– $4 billion for governors
– $2.7 billion for private schools
According to a September 2020 Gallup Poll, three out of four parents consider school “cleanliness and sanitation procedures” a major factor when considering in-person learning for their children. In general, school infrastructures lack the required in-house expertise and therefore must rely on external expertise to determine how and when in-person learning is safe.
Training for Properly Cleaning Schools
This bill, however, will effectively fund “training and professional development for staff of the local educational agency on sanitation and minimizing the spread of infectious diseases.” The GBAC STAR program for schools offers a training program to address facility management for school administrators. By investing in training, cleaning sanitation equipment, and preparedness strategies, we can lessen the economic and social impact that the next pandemic may have on our society.
Equipment to Make Cleaning and Sanitizing Easier and More Effective
It is also extremely important to have the proper sanitation equipment and products that will ensure the safety of staff and students. Professional grade equipment can effectively clean and sanitize educational buildings, helping to keep students and educators safe.
– Portable Precision Fogger is very easy to use and works very quickly! It can help with disinfecting hard and soft surfaces such as floors and walls, as well as hard to reach places.
– Hand Sanitizing Station is a dispenser for hand hygiene. It is foot-activated, making the process even safer!
– LavoDose series is a system that dilutes and proportions chemicals. It is small and compact in size and makes sure chemical concentrates are properly diluted each time they are bottled.
Investing in Effective Chemicals
The CDC and EPA have created a list of disinfectants that can be used to combat the spread of Covid-19 called the “List N”. These chemicals are certified to be effective against the virus. It is important schools invest in effective solutions. The new COVID-19 stimulus bill will help schools access the funding to ensure they can get effective solutions, like a List-N chemical to clean and sanitize their facilities.
What Are the Benefits of the COVID-19 Stimulus Bill for Schools?
At all levels, educational institutions must clearly define risk mitigation strategies to protect their students and staff. There are many benefits of this bill passing: Public, private and charter schools that have been closed can open back up thanks to access to professional-grade cleaning equipment and chemicals that are necessary for cleaning. Schools safely opening in the middle of a pandemic would be a very big breakthrough for the country. Educators and students can stay safe, and cases will start to decrease. Parents can have peace of mind knowing their schools and districts are doing what they can to mitigate the risk associated with educational institutions.
Schools are an integral part of the communities they serve, and it is important that they be models of effective infection control.