In December 2020, Congress passed a $2.2 trillion economic stimulus package to support Americans while they navigated the new way of life during the coronavirus and all of the disasters it caused to the American economy. This package is known as the CARES Act. The CARES Act gave approximately $82 billion to students, educational institutions, schools, and states across the country. From there, specific amounts are designated to K-12 schools, higher education, early childhood care providers, and schools run by the Bureau of Indian Education. $54.3 billion is for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER II Fund). Though private schools are not included in this ESSER grant, they are eligible for GEER funding which draws from $2.75 billion set aside for private schools.
Let's discuss how we can pick up the pieces as we navigate 2021 and assist a depleted education system.
What Education Sectors Benefited from the CARES Act?
There are several designated uses of funds, including learning loss, activities for supporting special populations, providing mental health services, preparing for school reopening, and sanitation and cleaning supplies with related training.
The first step any district or education facility can take is implementing proper disinfection services. Working with a janitorial services company that has the right tools and expertise to clean every part of your education facility ensures your students' safety in ways you may not have realized.
How Can You Be Sure Your Facility Is Safe?
COVID-19 is mostly spread through airborne transmission. Of course, you’ll want to wipe down all surfaces in your facility, especially those where little ones explore with their mouths, hands, and noses, but wiping down surfaces only kills a small fraction of lingering coronavirus germs.
The next step should be implementing proper air filtration and air disinfection for the coronavirus. When you keep the air clean by changing filters regularly, cleaning the filtrations systems, and monitoring the air quality, you can reduce the airborne spread of the virus. Using a MERV 13 (or preferably higher) air disinfection system is key to ensuring the safety of your students. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, which is a rating from 1 to 16 used by air filter manufacturers to gauge a filter’s ability to capture particles of smaller and smaller sizes, like the coronavirus air particles. The higher the MERV number, the smaller the particles caught by the filtration system.
The use of electrostatic sprayers has also proven to be an effective tool in fighting the virus. By implementing these machines, you can literally clean the air and the pathogens floating around in it. Not only that, but you will be able to get into all of the nooks and crannies of the classrooms, gymnasiums, cafeterias, band rooms, and more as the disinfection spray settles on surfaces, stays on long enough to kill germs, and leaves clean and safe surfaces behind with no human error.
What if Schools Don’t Implement Safety Measures?
School safety is so important that several school systems that have not followed proper COVID-19 safety measures have received citations for safety violations from OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration). The causes of these citations can be from not developing hygiene practice plans, inadequately training employees on new safety measures, and more.
For more information regarding COVID-19 from the CDC, click here.
We'll Help You Pass the Test!
The Budd Group wants to help you create a school safety plan that makes the most of your budget. We know how to optimize funds for sanitation, cleaning and reopening, and staff training. We understand that every school has different needs, which is why we create tailored solutions for your school and capacity following all CDC guidelines. Contact The Budd Group today, and we'll help you and your beloved education facility pass the test!