$130 billion goes to improving safety, indoor air quality in schools

Back to school, schools reopenin

On Wednesday, March 10, 2021 a new round of COVID-19 relief passed the House of Representatives. K-12 institutions will receive approximately $130 billion in funding. Approved uses for the new funding include facility repairs. In particular, the repair and improvement of ventilation and air quality systems. This includes the purchase of air purifiers for schools.

COVID-19 relief passed in 2020 totaled around $70 billion for K-12 institutions. On March 10, 2021, an additional $130 billion was passed by Congress.  

As with prior relief for K-12 schools, most of the new funds will go directly to school districts. The government will distribute the funds according the federal Title I formula. Schools can use them to help with safe reopening, as well as catching up on missed learning during the pandemic.

Approved uses for COVID-19 relief

Several uses for the new funding are laid out explicitly in the act. According to education think tank FutureEd, these uses include:

  • Repairing school facilities, especially ventilation systems, to improve indoor air quality in schools and reduce the spread of COVID-19.
  • Improving coordination among state, local, tribal and other entities to slow the spread of COVID-19.
  • Providing resources for principals to address coronavirus at their schools.
  • Supporting school district efforts to improve preparedness.
  • Addressing learning loss especially among disadvantaged students, including those who are:
    • living in poverty.
    • learning English.
    • experiencing homelessness.
    • dealing with disabilities.
    • living in foster care.
  • Training staff to sanitize schools and on the proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Purchasing PPE and the supplies needed to clean and disinfect schools.
  • Planning for school closures.
  • Purchasing hardware and software needed to conduct remote and hybrid learning.
  • Providing services to support student mental health.
  • Supporting afterschool and summer learning programs.
  • Using evidence-based approaches to address learning loss, which can include assessments and distance learning equipment.

The importance of air purifiers for schools

Of course, in-person learning means large numbers of students, faculty and staff sharing an indoor space. Without proper ventilation and air purification, indoor air quality in schools can deteriorate. Pathogens like viruses, bacteria, and fungi can build-up and pose health risks.

Older style purification systems use simple filtration. This can leave live pathogens stuck in the filters. Filters may also let occasional pathogens slip through. Fortunately, more advanced solutions don’t have these problems

One such solution is plasma-based air disinfection. Novaerus air purification units use plasma to kill and deactivate airborne pathogens. They call this technology “NanoStrike.” Their devices use a plasma discharge to destroy the DNA and proteins of viruses, rendering them completely harmless.

EnviroPro Solutions is here to help keep everyone is safe in school. To learn more about the air purification and sanitizing solutions we carry, reach out to us at [email protected] or by phone at 1-763-296-4449.