Healthy Schools Network Applauds President Biden and Congress on Emergency Funds
American Rescue Plan To Send $128 Billion to K-12, $100 M to US EPA
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - March 10, 2021 - PRLog -- ––The Coalition for Healthier Schools, led by Healthy Schools Network, joins with the [Re]Build America's School Infrastructure Coalition (BASIC), together comprising hundreds of education, civic, labor, and industry organizations committed to ensuring all children have healthy schools that can stay open.
Healthy Schools Network executive Claire Barnett said, "This is an enormous opportunity for the poorest schools to address Indoor Air Quality and Ventilation, as well as faciilty sanitation measures, both key to reopening safely in the pandemic. US EPA has proven programs that help educate schools and communities on how to improve ventilation, cleaning, and maintenance."
Added BASIC Leader Mary Filardo said, "FInally, public school districts have some federal funding that allows for facilities repairs and improvements to reopen and operate schools safely during this pandemic."
School districts nationwide need equipment and supplies, need ventilation to keep the viral load at low levels in classrooms, and must meet the needs of children eager to see firends again. "Schools are telling us they are falling short, and have deferred critical maintenance and repairs needed to operate safely." said Anisa Heming, Director of the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council.
US EPA funds can be used to address outdoor and indoor air quality.
The historic investment in public education is needed to address the severe learning loss, educator retention, facilities improvements and other emergency activities related to the fallout from COVID-19. The funds will allow school districts to use some of the overall funds to make much-needed repairs to crumbling school facilities and improvements to facilities to support Centers for Disease Control guidance on reopening and US EPA proven guidance on Indoor Air and cleaning and disinfecting.
"With new funds going to states and to schools in the Rescue Plan, we can now help all school children breathe clean air in school," says Claire Barnett, Executive Director of the Healthy Schools Network.
Mary Filardo, Executive Director of the 21st Century School Fund explains: "Long before the COVID-19 pandemic, school districts were faced with a crisis in addressing our aged and deteriorated school facilities. There is an urgent need to modernize our schools and build schools that are safe, healthy, and resilient for the generations to come."