The decision to reopen all public schools for fall semester was announced last week and unfortunately, that comes with a cost. U.S. Senator Doug Jones has introduced a bill to help schools and colleges cover the cost required to keep students and educators safe from COVID-19. According to a press release from Senator Jones’ office, the “Reopen Schools Safely Act” will establish a new federal grant program in the U.S. Department of Education to help school districts and colleges reopen and operate safely this fall. Funding from this bill would allow schools and colleges to have flexibility to use the funds for any expense needed in order to meet federal, local, and state guidelines for mitigating the spread of COVID-19. This includes the purchase of PPE, sanitation supplies, temperature screening equipment, COVID-19 tests, and more.
A conservative analysis was done by the School Superintendents Association and found that an average school district needs nearly $2 million to reopen safely. Governors who choose to apply for the funding will determine how to distribute the funds to each district, college and university based on their needs.