The Biden administration is authorizing $500 million from the infrastructure program to provide schools with improvements to indoor air quality and more efficient HVAC systems. Funds will also be provided to ensure cleaner transportation to and from schools.
Professional heating, ventilation and air conditioning contractors have long been aware of the value of indoor air quality and efficiency-related improvements that can be made in many of the nation's schools. The time is now for contractors to beging contacting schools in their regions, to make administrators aware of what is available for their respective facilities.
Studies have shown that student learning is adversely affected by poor classroom air quality, and that exposure to diesel fuel exhaust causes absenteeism.
Sources for the Biden administration say this plan will save money for schools and taxpayers, and reports that public kindergarten to grade 12 school districts spend about $8 billion each year on energy bills. Targeted improvements are: repairing, upgrading or replacing ventilation systems; purchasing air filters and portable air cleaning devices and repairing doors and windows so schools can remain open for in-person learning.
Sources said the Department of Treasury will soon release information on how school districts can use state and local fiscal recovery funds for additional air quality and energy efficiency improvements.
The White House is releasing a toolkit to help schools and school districts access available funding, as well as technical assistance opportunities and planning tools to help schools improve air quality, energy efficiency, and more.
Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funds (ESSER Funds) are available through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSA), and American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act.